Portuguese trivia (V)

Today I’ll be talking a bit about azulejos, Portuguese glazed tiles.

Did we invent them? No.

Are we the only country using them? No.

Then why am I dedicating a post to them? Because we love them and they’re everywhere!

When you’re in Portugal, whether it’s in the North or the South. the hills or the beach, you’re likely to come across azulejos. From homes to monuments, from churches to metro stations they’re virtually everywhere. Besides being decorative they also help with insulation from heat and noise.

azulejo Tomar
The demand and production for azulejos in Portugal had a major boom in the 18th century, when blue and white became the dominant colours – an influence from Ming Dynasty porcelain from China, it seems.
On the first photo you can see a detail from an azulejo covered wall in a cloister in the Convent of Christ, in Tomar. Just above is another detail from another wall covered in azulejo, but this time in the Regaleira Palace, in Sintra.


  1. Azulejos are such a joy here in Portugal, from the plain and everyday, to the ornate and artistic, and the modernistic and experimental designs. Even in one town, seldom do I see the same design twice.

  2. We are in the process of redoing our garden and I was thinking about buying some of these tiles to incorporate. So many to choose from!

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