Over the holiday season I was lucky enough to visit lovely Portugal with my parents. Lisbon is a city of tiles – they are on the ground, interiors and building exteriors! As a tile fan it was basically heaven. Thankfully they have a museum of tiles or ‘azulejos’ as they call them.
Museu Nacional do Azulejos
The museum is located a bit out of the centre of town in a historic former convent. The convent chapel is beautiful and features a fair number of Azulejos.
The museum is on two levels and follows a general chronological order. It includes incredibly recent pieces and goes into the different styles, programatics and production process.
In Portugal the tiles can be used like wall paper or murals. They can just be chunks of geometric patterns or painting like scenes. The image above is a nativity and includes painted columns.
This beautiful panel of tiles is an example of the geometric style. This could be used as a wall panel for intreriors or exteriors. The colours are usually blue and white but the more recent pieces get more colourful.
There were loads of little touchable tables for visitors and were particularly good for those who are visually impaired. The kids loved them as well!
The building itself was gorgeous of course. It was one of the few buildings to survive the horrible earthquake of 1755. One gallery is devoted to a pre-1755 tiled panorama of Lisbon. It is lovely!
Here we’ve got mum hanging with her friend! These azulejos of human figures are often at the entrance of houses and shops to welcome visitors and guests. How grand!
Pros: Amazing collection, well presented, good for all ages, great building, wonderful cafe, friendly and helpful staff
Cons: A little hard to get too, the shop closed in the middle of the day!