The expressions, the little details, the complexity…in short, the beautiful and unique Lladró porcelain figures are something different! The company Lladró is situated close by Valencia and has been producing porcelain figures for many years. The beautiful figures are being sold worldwide and the factory is the only factory of its kind in the world. Therefore, a tour at the Lladró factory is absolutely recommending.
The Lladró figures are made in Tavernes Blanques, a small town just fifteen minutes away from the centre of Valencia. It’s possible to visit the factory with a private guide of Once Upon a Bike and get an idea of this incredible place and of course buy some beautiful pieces yourself if you are interested. You can also watch the biggest and most complex statue that Lladró has ever made with your own eyes! This piece is called ‘Queen of the Nile’ and is 160 centimeters tall and costs € 120,000. Also, the factory visit can be combined with a private tour in Valencia city.
THE BEGINNING OF LLADRÓ
Lladró was founded in 1953 and is the success story of an iconic Spanish brand: a world leader in luxurious artistic porcelain entirely made by hand and with traditional tools in Valencia. The three brothers Juan, José and Vicente Lladró always shared a passion for porcelain. In 1953 they started to make their first pieces at their own home in Almàssera. After their collection of porcelain pieces became bigger and bigger and it no longer fitted in their house, they were forced to expand and move to a larger place. The family moved to a warehouse in the neighbouring town of Tavernes Blanques, which still is the headquarters of the current company. Their old home in Almàssera has now been completely renovated and can also be visited. Workshops are given in which you can learn the process of making porcelain.
In the beginning the brothers only designed vases and cans, but after a while they started with porcelain figures. And with great success: Lladró achieved their own unique and distinctive style, which eventually gave the brand their international fame.
UNIQUE CRAFT PROCESSES
Nowadays there are more than 1,000 artists working at the Lladró company. They work with the same care and passion as the brothers did in the past. From sketching to modelling, to carving, embossing, engraving, painting … a team of expert artists and designers keep old crafts and ancestral techniques to turn their dreams into porcelain.
THE BIRTH OF A LLADRO PORCELAIN PIECE
The birth of a piece starts with the original idea of the artist. Once the sketch is made, the artistic development of the original model begins. The technical team visualizes and defines the fragments in which each piece is disbanded, so that it can be reproduced later. There are creations that are so complex that they have to be divided into more than 400 fragments! By traditional woodcarving and engraving techniques the artists can sketch even the smallest details of the faces of the figures, the architectural elements, the vegetation or the clothing.
Sometimes they can only make a view copies. But in the case of the porcelain pieces with flowers – one of the iconic elements of Lladró – the specialized artists put the petals down one by one, making each flower completely unique and unrepeatable.
Another important moment in the creative phase is the decoration of the piece. The palette of Lladró has more than 4,000 different colours and is always in constant evolution, the addition of new tonalities made especially for some pieces.
And finally the decisive moment approaches: the passage through the oven. In the oven the piece is exposed to a temperature of 1,300·C (2,500F) all day long and then the real Lladró colours arise. Lladró is a pioneer in the introduction of single firing, achieving the crystalline finish and the pastel shades of the Lladró.
VISIT THE LLADRÓ FACTORY
In total, the factory covers more than 1,000,000 m² and it’s possible to visit the factory with a guided tour. During the guided tour you will visit the showroom full of porcelain figures, get to learn about the craft process, visit the factory (which is still in use) and the museum and boutique. This museum has, of course, a large collection of porcelain, but there are also dozens of paintings from the Spanish and Valencian baroque and renaissance times to admire. Do you see a piece you would really like to have at home in the Lladró shop in Valencia but are not able to take with you? Lladró can ship them to your place back home!
LOCATION AND OPENING HOURS LLADRÓ FACTORY
Location Lladró Factory
Carreterra Alboraya (no number)
46016 Tavernes Blanques
Opening times Lladró Factory
Monday until Friday: 09:30-18:00 (in August until 13:30)
BOOK A LLADRÓ FACTORY TOUR
Duration: approximately 1,5 hours (excluding traveling time of 30 minutes in total)
Including: private official enthusiastic English speaking guide + visit Lladró factory
Starting time and price: please contact Once Upon a Bike for the possibilities. It’s also possible to combine the factory visit with a private tour through the city of Valencia, we can even pick you up at the port if you are arriving by cruise ship! Our contact details:
– E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
– Telephone: (0034) 644384403
SOME FACTS ABOUT LLADRÓ THAT YOU DIDN’T KNOW
– The porcelain statues of Lladró can also be seen in American series, such as Will and Grace (season seven, episode twelve), The Sopranos (season four, episode six) and The Nanny (season five, episode five).
– Are you looking for a specific Lladró piece? Lladró sometimes changes the names of the figures due to translations for different markets. For example, Spanish names are translated for the English and Dutch market.
– Are you a Lladró collector? Then it’s good to know that in every city and country there are also a few unique pieces which can be only bought there. For example, the flamenco dancer can be only bought in Spain and the ‘Fallera with the oranges’ is only available in Valencia.
CERAMIC MUSEUM VALENCIA
Can’t get enough of colourful and artistic collections? Then you might also like to visit the ceramic museum in Valencia! This museum is located on the second floor of a beautiful historic palace which was build in the 18th century. This museum has a varied collection of ceramics from medieval to Japanese and modern pieces. There is a lot to see here: since the first collection consisted out of 6,000 pieces, this collection has gradually been extended and is definitely worth a visit! Besides admiring the pieces you´ll get a complete explanation and impression about the evolution, materials, techniques and the cultural background of the ceramics.
Carrer del Poeta Querol 2
Tuesday until Saturday: 10:00–14:00 and 16:00–20:00
Sunday and during holidays: 10:00–14:00
€3,00 (free admission on Saturdays from 16:00-20:00 and Sundays)
Want to get to know more of typical Valencian producs? What about some delicious sweet: everyone likes chocolate, right?! The Valor chocolate brand has been around since 1881 and has grown from a small family business into one of the best and unique collections in the chocolate industry. A visit to this chocolate museum feels like a journey into the process and evolution of five generations of chocolate. The museum is about a 1.5 hours drive from Valencia, but no worries if you don’t have time to go there. Of course there is a shop in the centre of Valencia where you can buy and taste the delicious Valor chocolate!
Location Valor shop
Plaza de la Reina 20
Location Valor Museum
Calle Pianista Gonzalo Soriano 13
Opening hours Valor Museum
Monday until Friday: 11:00 and 16:00
Monday until Friday: 10:00–20:00
Turrón is a kind of nougat, which includes peeled and roasted almonds, honey, sugar and protein. This is a typical and famous Spanish sweet and is often eaten during Christmas and other holidays. You can visit the Turron Museum about 20 kilometres north of Alicante to learn more about this delicious treat. In the museum you will find a detailed explanation of turrón and marzipan.
Polígono Industrial Ciudad del Turrón – Pol. Espartal II
Carretera Busot km1
Januari 2nd until July 15th
Monday until Saturday: 10:00-17:30
July 16th until December 31st
Monday until Sunday: 10:00-18:30
January 2 until July 15th
July 16th until December 31st