The Portuguese tiles, famous for their designs, colors and resistance, were used a lot in Brazil, where my Mom’s house was practically all covered with tiles in the Kitchen and Bathroom, and actually still is, now even in the house facade!
The art of ceramic tiles history
The ceramic tile work history starts around 13th to 15th century, where the word “Azulejo”, derived from the Arabic “Zellige”, that means “Polished stone” because the original idea was to imitate the Byzantine and Roman mosaics according Wikipedia, where you can read more about it.
The ceramic tiles were also used with the specific functional capacity like temperature control in homes, not for decoration only, because of this I believe it’s used a lot in Brazil.
If you have a chance to visit Portugal, you will understand more about this beautiful art of ceramic tile work, because they are everywhere!
The art of ceramic tile work, are not only used for home decoration, but also in public such as churches, public parks and buildings facades, using the tiles design to tell their local stories.
In modern architecture the tiles were not being considered of part of décor, so perhaps because they are not so practical to clean or because it’s considered a little out of fashion.
However, with new décor trends in the “Retro” style, the tiles started to be used again, mainly in interior designs details for kitchens and bathrooms and, because of this, new designs started to be created.
Visiting Portugal and getting inspired by Portuguese tiles
Back in 2019, I had the opportunity to travel to Portugal for the first time and I was excited to finally learn more about all ceramic artwork decorations and get inspired by your colors and designs.
The excitement is because I love Mosaic and ceramic art, and who already follows me on Facebook and Instagram knows it. So, I invited you to join my Social Media and be inspired by the colors, designs found in the nature, and let me know which colors can inspire you !
This said, based on my passion for mosaics and the art of tiles, below I am sharing some of my pictures of places that inspired me during my visit in Portugal.
I hope you can also be inspired not only to use them in your home or professional decoration, but also to appreciate this culture that comes from the 13th century!
Also, if you want to get inspired by watching an amazing YouTube video from Discovering Destinations about Lisbon < CLICK HERE > . This video shows almost all places I took the pictures posted below!
1. Tile work of Lisbon.
The Chiado District, which is located in the old town of Lisbon, it’s a fun neighbourhood where you can have fun while contemplate and gain inspiration in the art of Portuguese tiles.
With buildings like this one displayed in the picture above, where the facade is completely covered with beautifully designed tiles, making the colors of the historic city come alive and catch our attention any day, any time, with sun or rain!
Following my way to visit the “São Jorge Castle” located in the freguesia of Santa Maria Maior – Lisbon, near “Miradouro Santa Luzia”; I came across this window.
This could be any old and regular window, but, because the tiled details they caught my attention by the colors that give an unique and creative effect.
If you like tile art and you are about to visit or visiting Lisbon, take sometime to visit this beautiful shop “XVIII – Azulejo & Faiança“.
This beautiful store is located at Largo de Santa Luzia – Lisboa and where you can not only buy amazing Portuguese tiles with unique and personalized designs, but also understand a little more about this art that comes from the 13th century.
The artists, who work on site, are painting while you visit the store.
The tiles are not cheap compared to many other stores around Lisbon that sells tiles work, but it’s because their ceramic tiles work are pieces of art, unique and totally original.
Check their official website for further information.
The idea was just to visit the Pastéis de Belém factory, located at Belém district of Lisbon and eat the famous and delicious “Pastéis de Belém” pastries.
However, like almost everywhere in Lisbon, the Portuguese tiles art get our attention and makes us go back in time and imagine how they managed to make such a perfect artistic work.
2. Tile work of Coimbra.
The Santa Cruz Monastery “ or best known as “Igreja da Santa Cruz” located in Coimbra – Portugal, is a beautiful church to visit for the Holy art and because the history behind it, since according local information, is the place where the first two kings of Portugal are buried.
The tiles work are gorgeous and there is a baroque style pipe from 18th century rich in details that calls your attention as soon as you get to the church arch inside.
3. Art work of the city of Porto.
If you are visiting Portugal, another destination that you can add to your list if you are interested to see the Portuguese tiles history and ceramic tiles work art, is the city of Porto.
Porto is famous for their Churches facades covered by ceramic work tiles in Blue colors that tell the history of the place, as example of the beautiful “Igreja do Carmo“.
It’s almost impossible to pass by and do not notice the gorgeous art work! It’s fascinating!
São Bento Railway station is a true piece of art and Free entrance to visit.
The interior of the building was built in the 20th century and its completely decorated with the famous Portuguese Tiles, with blue tones giving a special touch to the place.
Take your time to check it out!
4. Tiles work of Algarve region.
The town of Lagos, located in the Algarve region, is well known for its beautiful beaches, where you can enjoy a wonderful vacation during the summer time and get an unforgettable boat trip along the Portuguese coasts.
But, if you want to visit the beautiful and historic old town, you will find mosaic walkways and fully tiled buildings, giving different colors to the Portuguese tiles like the photo above. Wonderful!
5. Tiles work of Sintra.
10. As we walked towards the Palácio da Regaleira, located in the beautiful city of Sintra in Portugal, we saw this wall covered with beautiful ceramic tiles work, as per picture above, that caught our attention.
Perhaps because it is in a privileged location, with a beautiful view of the city, the wall draws attention for its colors, like many other points in the city.
Again, towards the Palácio da Regaleira, in Sintra – Portugal, it is impossible not to stop at various points and contemplate places like this, where you can see this fountain covered in tiles.
I don’t know exactly if they are in Portuguese tiles style, as it looks like a more Asian design fountain, however is a place to get inspired for sure!
Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time to visit the city of Sintra, however what we saw it was enough to add this place to our list of “Places we want to go back”!
This fountain was also in our way to Palácio da Regaleira, and the details speak for themselves, it’s a place to stop and enjoy the relaxing sound of the fountain and be inspired with the amazing details and colors.
6. Pictures Gallery
Following a gallery of some of the photos I took during my trip to Portugal – 2019. I selected some of them that most inspired me!
Feel free to leave your comments and let me know if you could get inspired by the designs and colors!