Potty Museum – Ciudad Rodrigo, Spain - Atlas Obscura

Potty Museum

Ciudad Rodrigo, Spain

1,300 chamber pots and their eccentric collector. 


José María del Arco was known better by his nickname “Pesetas,” or pounds. Pesetas got his name from his carnival costume in his hometown of Ciudad Rodrigo, which was made entirely out of the former Spanish currency. María del Arco’s entire life was marked by unusual and memorable displays, perhaps the most notable of which is the Potty Museum, his personal collection of chamber pots.

In 1980, Pesetas received his first chamber pot and began his collection. Although it happened almost by accident, his subsequent collection and museum became a major hobby, and many people donated and gifted the pots to him over the years as well. Over the next 31 years, he collected 1322 different chamber pots, from 27 different nationalities.

The specimens varied wildly in design and material, with some being made of glass, metal, and even wood. After a certain point, Pesetas even remarked that it was difficult to keep accumulating pots, as his collection had already grown so large.

Sadly, José María del Arco passed away in June 2011. His death was mourned by many in the community including the mayors of a number of towns in Salamanca, who remembered his larger than life persona and amazing collection.

The collection can still be visited and is held in part of the Ciudad Rodrigo’s Diocesan Seminary San Cayetano in the square Herrasti, located in the historic area of Ciudad Rodrigo next to the Cathedral of Santa Maria.

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October 14, 2011

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