Poceram Produtos Cerâmicos


Nestled in the picturesque city of Coimbra, Portugal, the ‘Poceram Produtos Cerâmicos’ factory once thrived as a hub of creativity and craftsmanship. For decades, it produced exquisite ceramic floor tiles and coverings, leaving an indelible mark on the architectural landscape of the region. However, behind its colorful façade lay a story of triumphs, setbacks, and eventual demise.

The Marques family, stewards of Poceram since 1973, infused the factory with their passion for ceramics. Their dedication to preserving traditional Portuguese craftsmanship led to the production of Azulejos, the iconic painted tin-glazed ceramic tiles. These Azulejos adorned not only churches and palaces but also everyday spaces like homes, schools, and public buildings. Their intricate designs served both ornamental and practical purposes, regulating indoor temperatures during scorching summers and chilly winters.

The Azulejo Legacy

Azulejos, with their vibrant colors and geometric patterns, became synonymous with Portuguese culture. As you wander through Coimbra’s streets, you’ll still encounter these timeless tiles gracing modern structures, from cozy restaurants to bustling railway stations.

The Fall from Grace

Despite its rich heritage, Poceram faced mounting challenges. In 2009, the factory succumbed to financial strain and declared bankruptcy. The once-bustling production lines fell silent, leaving 153 workers without jobs. The closure reverberated through the community, as the Marques family’s legacy crumbled under the weight of unpaid wages and debts exceeding 20 million euros.

By April 2009, the factory stood abandoned, its kilns cold. The Azulejos that once adorned grand edifices now lay stacked in forgotten corners. The broken windows, crumbling façade, and overgrown vegetation stand as silent witnesses to a bygone era. These photos of ‘Poceram Produtos Cerâmicos’ were taken in 2016.

Built 1973
Abandoned 2009
Demolished 2018