The tradition of ceramics in Mettlach
The Discovery Centre of Villeroy & Boch
Let yourself be taken back to the medieval times, to the time when monks and knights characterized life in Mettlach, to the time of baroque, when the abbey was in its prime or to the years after the French Revolution when Mettlach's famous ceramic manufacture began taking shape.
In 1809, Jean-Francois Boch acquired the Old Abbey in Mettlach on the Saar river. On one hand, its location was perfect for delivery of materials by ship, on the other, the region offered rich resources of wood and coal, which were needed for the manufacture of ceramic products at that time. On this basis an industrial centre grew up soon and even brought the railway to Mettlach. Since that time, the company manages its worldwide activities from its headquarters in Mettlach. Today, the over 250-year-old abbey is considered one of the most beautiful factory buildings.
A thousand years of cultural history, centuries of ceramic tradition and future-oriented concepts related to “home and living” – all this awaits you in our Villeroy & Boch Discovery Centre. Themes, lifestyles and products are presented here in a completely innovative manner – in an incomparable atmosphere. You will take valuable ideas home with you. Enjoy a walk through the park and discover more historical and contemporary sights. Finish your visit with a stroll through the Villeroy & Boch shopping centre in the old part of the town – or dine in the exclusive Schloss Saareck. Our Visitor Information Service will be pleased to take reservations.
The Keravision exhibition is a highlight in the historical atmosphere of the Old Abbey, presenting a corporate history that stretches back over a quarter of a millennium. On your journey through the ages, you will witness how historical events are reflected in the design and spirit of the times: ranging from the successful “Alt Luxemburg” tableware pattern, which was created in 1770 and is still used today, the new departures of Art Nouveau and the functional post-war years to today’s comprehensive selection for all areas of life.
In the baroque hall, you can watch a film that again presents the milestones in the company’s history. You will get to know the people who steered the company’s fortunes and expressed the times in which they were living in ceramic form. The film is entertainingly presented by the world-famous star and brillant raconteur, Sir Peter Ustinov.
Discover the world of the Villeroy & Boch brand with its inimitable ambience and the richness of its way of life.
The “Tableware World of Discovery” exhibition leads you through realistic surroundings and across a cobbled market square where we present the latest tableware ranges. Lovingly staged, you will find your own personal lifestyle preferences amongst the perfectly arranged tables and diverse tableware. This small universe cannot fail to inspire you!
Ceramic treasures from the Villeroy & Boch collections from several centuries are presented in new premises and with a modern display concept. The exciting display with changing themes illustrates the industrial history of Europe from the late baroque period to the present day, as well as the development of our daily culture. You can see the amazing range of chamber pots of emperors and kings and discover the diversity of colours, forms and decors of selected exhibits. Their beauty is fascinating.
An enchanting museum café
A visit to the exhibition usually includes taking time out to relax and fortify oneself in the museum café. However, anyone entering this café will experience, first and foremost, another work of art: a masterpiece of historical interior design.
The nostalgic café has been decorated from floor to ceiling with approximately 15,000 handcrafted tiles. It is the markedly natural style of representation by which these pictures appeal so directly to the observer. Skilfully applied brushstrokes and a keen sense of colour give the figures a three-dimensional quality, airiness and grace. Countless details are minutely decorated, from the boy’s cowlick to the rippling ribbon of flowers or delicately veined rose petal. The linear bordered silhouettes reveal the proximity to Art Nouveau.
For the design of this café Villeroy & Boch drew on illustrated archive material to reproduce the tradition upheld in historical shop fitting. The masterplans for the design, irrespective of whether they were intended for a butcher’s shop, cheese dairy or delicatessen, inspired builders far beyond Germany’s borders, and even as far as Australia.