"The venerable clay and the sensitive and expert hands of the potter created the jar that jealously guards the wine".

The Tinajera Pottery Interpretation Centre holds secrets, stories and knowledge involving mathematics, chemistry, geology and physics. ARE YOU GOING TO MISS IT?

Earthenware pottery is the exponent of popular and utilitarian art from the Middle Ages and the Centro de Interpretación de la Alfarería Tinajera is a unique space, in which homage is paid to this noble art and to the men and women of Villarrobledo who, for almost five centuries, have been dedicated to modelling clay jars with their hands, of different sizes and shapes, destined for the production of wine and all types of vessels and containers for domestic use and other chores.

The Centro de Interpretación de la Alfarería Tinajera is located in an old pottery and pottery kiln that has been restored following the old model. It is located in the heart of the tinajero district, where these workshops have been established since the 16th century, seeking the proximity of the clay deposits. Before the 16th century, there were already potters in Villarrobledo - a few families who made pottery for domestic use. From the 16th century onwards, activity focused on the production of earthenware jars and the number of workshops increased. In the 18th century, the guild of jar-makers even had quality controllers. From the second half of the 19th century onwards, there was a whole industry producing thousands of jars a year by hand, with 72 kilns firing jars at full capacity.


Here you will discover how the largest jars in the world were made: more than 4 metres high and weighing 2500 kg. and with a capacity of 500, 600 and up to 700 arrobas (@) - 1 arroba = 16.133 litres. You will get to know and learn, in a direct and participative way, the keys to a trade and a millenary technique that is still alive. And here you will be able to observe an unusual event, the result of the phenomenon of fusion.

The CIAT is made up of three exhibition spaces: the workshop, where the "tinajero" (manufacturer) shapes the jar with his own hands; the oven, where the jar culminates its process to become the ideal vessel; the "Olla", the part of the oven which constitutes the true beating heart of the "tinajerías” (potteries) - or, in other words, the combustion chamber where the necessary heat for the jars to reach their exact firing point is produced. The courtyard must be added to these spaces, being a room that plays a fundamental role: this is where everything that has to do with the making of a jar begins and ends.

The spaces in the CIAT are accessible to people with reduced mobility, except for the "Olla", which, being a totally original space, cannot be adapted. The centre has toilets and a small information and reception point.


The visit to CIAT follows the logical order of the jar-making process:

Our tour begins in the courtyard, to which the rooms where the tinajero works open their doors, where the clay is laid out to dry, and where the well, the pylon and the threshing floor are located. It is the place where the clay receives its first treatment to become a jar.

The next step takes us to the workshop. Here, through a central scenography, we will discover how a jar is made, we will learn about the tools used by the dyer and other tools associated with the extraction of the clay and its treatment. We will learn the characteristics of the raw material and how it behaves. We will find historical data on the appearance of pottery and its role in social and economic development. We will see how the shape and size of the jar evolved over the centuries and the causes of this evolution.

After the workshop, we enter the olla, the underground chamber of the oven, a totally original space in which, as well as learning how it works, we can observe the physical and chemical reactions caused by the high temperatures reached inside, similar to the temperatures at which the magma flows in a volcano.

The last step in the making of a jar takes place in the kiln, and here we will see everything related to the firing process. This is a delicate and complex moment, in which the jar maker has everything at stake; thus, he will have to take into account many variables so that the work of a whole year is not lost in a second.

The visit ends again in the courtyard, where the jars are given a final hydration treatment in order to leave them fully prepared for their final destination, the cellars.

Horno Tinajero Street
02600 Villarrobledo (Albacete) SPAIN


Contacting the Tourist Office:

+34 967 14 19 80


Opening hours

MONDAYMornings: from 12:00 to 14:00

TUESDAYMornings: from 12:00 to 14:00

WEDNESDAYMornings: from 12:00 to 14:00

THURSDAYMornings: from 12:00 to 14:00

FRIDAYMornings: from 12:00 to 14:00

SATURDAYMornings: from 10:00 to 14:00


All guided tours are made by prior arrangement by calling at the telephone number indicated above (+34 967 14 19 80), writing to the indicated email addresses or using the form below. These hours are subject to change due to staffing needs.