Portuguese Tiles – the best places to enjoy this craft

Portugueses tiles are a very distinctive trait of the Portuguese culture and part of a lot of buildings and public spaces.

The Portuguese have 500 years of tradition and creativity in the tile craft. The Portuguese tile word, Azulejo, comes from the Arabic “Azzelij” that means small polished stone – used to draw the byzantine mosaic in the East. The war Arabs used tiles to decorate walls and grounds captured the attention of the Portuguese Kinds that started using it in the XV century.

After the 1755 earthquake the rebuilding process made the tile to be produced and extensively used in the city. Due to its low-cost it allowed a quick application in the building facade – and an opportunity to insert religious symbols to protect the city from natural disasters.

Azulejos - Os melhores locais onde pode apreciar esta arte tão portuguesa

Tile Museum (Museu do Azulejo)

At this museum you can see an extensive set of examples from the XV century until nowadays.

Its most emblematic piece its a 1300 tiles panel with 36 meters, that illustrated Lisbon before the earthquake.

Location: Rua Madre Deus 4, 1900-312 Lisboa

Site Museu do Azulejo

Lisbon Museum – Pimenta Palace

Lisbon Museum (Museu de Lisboa) is the new name for the City Museum. It reveals the city histories from different nucleus: Pimenta Palace, Roman theatre, Santo António, Torreão Poente and Casa dos Bicos.

Its purpose is to tell the Lisbon history in different ways, so that the visitor can better enjoy the richness of one of the oldest cities in Europe.

The Pimenta Palace was built by King D. João V for his mistress nun, and keeps am archeologic, sculpture and painting collection, as well as an important set of tiles.

Location: Campo Grande, 245, 1700 – 091 Lisboa

Site Museu de Lisboa

Sintra National Palace

Sintra’s National Palace has the biggest collection of Hispanic and Moorish tiles in Europe, most of them coming from Seville, Spain.

At this place Tiles become an instrument of esthetic value and a reflex of an harmonious meeting between moorish culture and christian art.

Location: Largo Rainha Dona Amélia, 2710-616 Sintra

Site Parques de Sintra

Fábrica Viúva Ceramic Factory

The Víuva Lamego Ceramic Factory, as the name indicated, is an old ceramic factory built between 1849 and 1865, that also had a clay workshop.

Today there’s only an exhibit and tile sale once the factory (industrial and artistic tiles) was moved to another place.

Its facade is made of figurative tiles from the XIX century, really worth visiting. Its also very close to our shop, so you can pay us a visit!

Location: Largo do Intendente Pina Manique, 1150-007 Lisboa

Site Fábrica Viúva Lamego

Azulejos - Os melhores locais onde pode apreciar esta arte tão portuguesa

Marqueses de Fronteira Palace

This Palace is still inhabited by the Marquis descendants, having been built in 1675. Besides being very well maintained is allows guided tours – both to its gardens as interiors as well.

At this Palace you can enjoy a fine tile collection, being considered on of the most extraordinary in the world.

Location: Largo São Domingos de Benfica 1, 1500-554 Lisboa

Site Palácio dos Marqueses de Fronteira

Sant`Anna Factory

Its the last big tile craft factories in Europe, which started as a small red clay workshop.

in 1755 the big earthquake that devastated Lisbon made the tile craft an important reconstruction element for its production low-cost. With the raised demand this small workshop was forced to raise its production and start supplying most of the tiles that would decorate Lisbon’s facades.

At Sant’Anna factory tile panels are unique works, reason why all are signed as an authenticity proof.

Location: Rua do Alecrim 95, Lisboa
Calçada Boa Hora 96, Lisboa (novas instalações)

Site Fábrica Sant`Anna

Azulejos - Os melhores locais onde pode apreciar esta arte tão portuguesa

Cardeaes Convent

At this Convent there’s an important ser of 11 figurative panels in blue and white colors. Dated from 1692 and signed by the Dutch Jan Van Orrt – Craftsman of one of the main Amsterdam tile factories.

The panels narrate the story of saint Teresa de Ávila, venerated at this convent.

Location: Rua de O Século 123, 1200-434 Lisboa

Site Convento dos Cardeaes