Holidays-to-Portugal. 10 ways to discover Lisbon: History in tiles (Azulejo)



Lisbon is famous for its brightness, atmosphere and weather, perfect for wonderful trips along various parts of the city, with guided tours that will show you the 10 best ways to get to know the city considered an international ex-libris. Discover the history of Portugal and of the city of Lisbon through its main tourist attractions. The tiles (azulejo) are one of them.

Historically, tiles did not originate in Portugal, but its decorative use is inseparable from daily, cultural and urban life of the Lisbon residents. The use of tiles in the decoration of civil and religious buildings in Portugal is one of the main tourist attractions of the city of Lisbon, unknown in other countries of the world, which makes Portugal the perfect destination for your holiday. The use of tile is a landmark in the Portuguese uniqueness showing the indisputable primacy that the ceramic decor has in decorative arts. Tiles are one of the most solid expressions of culture in Portugal and is one of the best things to see in Lisbon.

Despite the use of the tiles being customary in other countries such as Spain, Italy, Morocco, among others, in Portugal, it was adapted and treated in a way that no one else in the world has, which is a great reason to have your holiday in Lisbon, Portugal allowing yourself be charmed by this wonder of the ancient and contemporary history.

This is why tiles are considered a tourist attraction that should be explored and known by those who choose to have their holiday in Portugal. Visit the National Tile Museum, installed in the former Monastery of Madre Deus in Xabregas and get to know the importance of the biggest artistic expression that sets Portuguese culture apart – the tile.

It takes on a special importance in terms of artistic creation because of how long it has been used, without interruption, for five centuries and because of how it is applied in the interior and exterior lining of buildings.

When taking a guided tour through Portugal, you will be surprised by how the tile becomes a decorative element, and the most peculiar characteristic of Portuguese architecture. This aspect is present in practically all the places that can be visited in Portugal. Here, the unrestricted use of tile is integrated into the architecture itself as if it were part of it, transforming this destination a mandatory spot for your holiday.

When you choose to spend holiday in Lisbon, Portugal you will be amazed by the peculiar decor that embellishes almost all buildings – the tiles. It’s true that everywhere, from the train station to the palaces, from small churches to cathedrals, the tiles spread its glow through all cities. In no other country in Europe can we find the architectural expression that tiles gives Portuguese buildings.

Portugal is, quintessentially , the country of tile, which has been constantly used in religious decor and buildings that represent and characterize this country. The unique use of the tile, as coating for walls, pavements, benches, lakes or fountains is considered a supplement to the style of each era, in harmony with the architecture itself, which reveals both older and more contemporary urban development.

The tiles resurfaced in Portugal in the beginning of the XX century with the New Art of Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro (1847-1905). With the growth of urban spaces, a new generation of architects and artists was asked to create tile panels that would perpetuate the uniqueness of the Portuguese architecture. The new underground stations are an example, covered with tiles according to the projects of Maria Heil (1972) and Júlio Resende (1998), which created new linings and enhanced the art of tiles in Portugal.

At the end of the XX century, this expression of Portuguese culture became global with the work of Ivan Chermayeff, at the Lisbon Oceanarium in 1998, who created large marine animals with the use of tiles, giving this building an emblematic status.

Any visit or trip is filled with color thanks to the tiles.

Choose to have your holidays in Lisbon, Portugal and indulge yourself with an art that crosses styles and languages from all eras. Make this Lisbon attraction an obligatory visit, deeply rooted in Portuguese traditions and discover Portugal’s historical heritage.

Lisbon Guided Tours – Choose yours!



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