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Discovering Totana through pottery (26/11/2014)

"Last November 14th we made our first visit to the city to discover its tourist attractions, visiting the Church of Santiago and its tower, the Moorish oven and two potteries.

We begin the route from the hand of tourism technician Hall, Bethlehem Canovas, who accompanied us on the visit of the church and the Moorish oven.

The route began with the climb to the tower of the Church of Santiago, visiting the "room of the couple," the machinery of clock and bell tower, from where we experience an indescribable to see Totana from a different perspective to the usual sense.

The ringing of the bells "rooms" and "hours" startles us briefly interrupts the contemplation of the city, but after giving 10 continue our visit.

Before lowering the tower access the choir, since we have a privileged view of the whole church, especially its impressive coffered ceiling.

We left the church to get into the knowledge of an ancient craft in the city and has made Totana recognize as "pottery town".

The actual origin of pottery dating back to the sixteenth century, when it is known that appear in Totana the first families of potters and potteries.

The potteries began to settle outside the village center along the banks of the Rambla de La Santa.

Initially in the left margin (Barrio de Triana) and, from the eighteenth century, also on the right side (Barrio de Sevilla).

The object's fame acquired in Totana, especially in the nineteenth century and was sold even in neighboring provinces, was the jar.

Other objects such as bowls, jugs and crocks were manufactured in our town.

At present, the office has changed and with it the objects, as they are more geared to the ornamental and glazed pottery.

"Times change and we must adapt to them."

We started visiting the potter past Totana in the Moorish oven, located along the Rambla de La Santa and the old Technology Center of Crafts of the Region of Murcia.

It is a furnace jars built in the nineteenth century and has been the subject of an archaeological restoration in the 90s of XX century.

In the Region of Murcia are preserved only four furnaces of this type and we are fortunate that everyone in our town.

This is the only visitable.

Currently, ten are the potters who maintain this tradition in Totana, as Bellón and The Polo family, which dates back to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries respectively and kindly showed us how the clay works with winch and a little history and anecdotes of pottery in Totana.

Bartolomé Bellon, in his traditional workshop located in the Paseo de las Ollerías, we made on the lathe shapes such as a pitcher, a cup, a plate and typical doll with a miniature jar.

The process of creating these figures was enlivened by the explanations given us about his experience of a lifetime devoted to this office.

To complete the route we move to the Potteries Polo, another family with great pottery tradition.

We visited his shop where we showed and explained the history of pottery in Totana through the typical parts, as well as new products that are made today.

From there we moved the shop to have in the neighborhood where Vincent Tirol Camilleri "Polo" gave us a demonstration on the lathe.

In addition, some students of the course could enjoy the sensation of touch the wet mud in our inexperienced hands and manufacture any parts.

In the coming months will continue to make such visits to discover the heritage of Totana and its history, and we will keep you recounting our experiences. "


Students from Local Tourist Promotion and Visitor Services


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