- Car park
- Coach parking
- Coach access
- Motorhomes allowed
- Set down on-site for groups
- Tourist brochures
- Tourist information
Giroussens, a former bastide founded at the end of the 13th century around a castle overlooking the Agout valley, was before the Revolution a prosperous little town thanks to the activity of numerous potters established on the edge of the forest, using a privilege granted to the inhabitants to take wood from the forest to feed their kilns. The earth was under their feet, because as in the whole of the Toulousian basin, it is clayey and of a beautiful red colour.
At the beginning of the 17th century, 72 master potters, journeymen and apprentices founded the "Sainte Rufine" brotherhood, a Spanish martyr and patron saint of potters, which provided them with spiritual and material assistance and to which a chapel was dedicated in the village.
The 91 potters of the village, present in 1735, enjoyed the most flourishing period of their industry. They were famous for the production of dishes and plates reminiscent of Italian lead-glazed ceramics, coloured in yellow, green and blue. The decorations evoked simple and stylised vegetation, animal fauna, usually reduced to birds, and caricatured human portraits.
As the centuries passed, the ceramics of Giroussens were forgotten. It was not until the 1990s that the village remembered its glorious past by organising the first of its Ceramic Markets, which 30 years later still brings together as many enthusiasts and the curious every first weekend in June. In 1999, the Town Hall acquired the former outbuildings of the village castle with the idea of opening a centre dedicated to ceramics.
For more than 20 years, the Centre has welcomed visitors and presented 4 exhibitions: two permanent heritage exhibitions and 2 temporary exhibitions dedicated to contemporary ceramics. The latter change four times a year and the rooms are then adorned with new works, French and/or international artists, small and large workshops.
The permanent exhibitions showcase some of Giroussens' old ceramics as well as the works of the artist Lucie Bouniol.
It is in these walls that Lucie Bouniol (1896-1988) had her workshops. A local artist who studied in Marseille, then with Bourdelle before moving to Paris where she became a friend of Colette, among others. Painter, draughtswoman and sculptor, Lucie loved to represent the world around her, the traditions as much as the inhabitants of this small village that she loved so much. On her death, a large bequest was made to the commune, which now holds most of her collection and exhibits it in one of the rooms of the Centre.
The Centre is open from mid-February to the end of December, from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 12pm and from 2pm to 6pm. In July and August it also opens on Mondays.
The Centre is wheelchair accessible.
From 01/07 to 31/08
Opening hours daily between 10 am and 12 pm and between 2 pm and 6 pm.
From 01/09 to 30/06
Opening hours on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday between 10 am and 12 pm and between 2 pm and 6 pm.
Closed on Monday.
Adult: 4 €
Group adults: from 3 €.
Free entry for children < 16 years.
Group rate available for > 10 people.