La Bisbal d’Empordà
In 2022 the city of La Bisbal d’Empordà, in Spain, is accreditated as World Craft Cities. La Bisbal d’Empordà is the 5th Craft City recognized in the European sub-continent.
La Bisbal d’Empordà has a renowned artistic character and is known for its creative spirit. The city has traditionally welcomed and inspired ceramic artists, nurtured new currents and styles, and it now promotes novel trends for the modern age.
The small city of La Bisbal d’Empordà, with a population of 11,159 inhabitants, is widely known as the ceramics capital as it creates a wide variety of ceramic products. The city landscape is punctuated by the thin silhouettes of old industrial chimneys, boasts a commercial area linked to a variety of ceramic products that bring colour to the streets while its tourist attractions offer direct contact between tourists and artisans through guided visits and workshop sessions.
The ceramics of La Bisbal have been declared a Unique Trade by the Government of Catalonia, an initiative by the Commerce, Craft and Fashion Consortium created in order to identify and promote a series of traditional trades located in specific areas within Catalonia. These unique trades and products are closely connected to the people or the county they originally come from.
The Ceràmica de la Bisbal brand, a protected denomination of origin in the European Union, recognises, personalises and distinguishes the ceramic products created in La Bisbal. The brand was created in 2010 and was promoted by the City Government with the support of the Ceramic Artists Association of La Bisbal in order to highlight local products and set them apart from the competition.
In terms of education and culture, La Bisbal d’Empordà boasts its famed Terracotta Museum. The museum is a top-tier representation of the ceramics industry in La Bisbal, highlighting the city’s traditional values. The museum is undoubtedly La Bisbal’s best-known cultural landmark and one of the country’s most important ceramics museums, dedicated to preserving, conserving and raising awareness of the material and cultural heritage linked to ceramics.
The city works tirelessly on implementing projects to spur innovation and improve the quality of the local craftsmanship. The local government spreads the word and raises awareness of the city’s activities, providing support to well-established ceramic artists and entrepreneurs alike in order to promote the transition from one generation to the next to ensure that the ceramic trade and tradition so closely identified with the city stays alive and vibrant.
In short, La Bisbal is and aims to continue to be not only the ceramic capital of Catalonia, but also to have a significant impact worldwide.