In this work the strength of ceramic laminates is analyzed. Two different architectures with the same surface are studied. One of them, a Al2O3 / Zr(3Y)O2 laminate, contains compressive residual stresses, the other one, a monolithic Al2O3 laminate, has no residual stresses. Residual stresses are estimated analytically on the basis of the materials properties and by an indentation technique. The influence of the residual stress on the strength distribution is investigated. Strength distributions for laminates with compressive stresses at the surface follow a Weibull distribution only under certain conditions.