Use this guide to scour the city for the most outstanding examples of azulejos… the perfect art lover’s supplement to Lisbon.
After visiting Spain & its beautifully decorated residences, King Manuel I ordered 10,000 tiles to decorate his own royal palace back home. Since then, production methods have improved & styles constantly changed, but azulejos have remained popular for over 500 years. Currently found in most major public works in Lisbon—from lining new highways to decorating world expositions—tiles have become synonymous with the capital city.
Since azulejos are literally everywhere, this guide recommends 75 of the best panels in town. Listings cover every period & style as well as focus on the work of a few recognized masters like Jorge Colaço, Maria Keil, Eduardo Nery & Querubim Lapa. Panels are also categorized into five classes: residential, religious, public works, urban art & business. They seem to be used for just about everything!
Information about tile production & different trends provides the perfect intro to a must-see for all tile lovers: the Museu Nacional do Azulejo. Originally a convent for the Order of St. Clare (the female equivalent to the Franciscans), the site opened as a tile museum in 1970. The guide contains a complete map of the museum plus more about its fascinating history.
Unfamiliar with Portuguese tile artists? Mini-biographies are provided for several modern masters. Finally, nine detailed maps of Lisbon show exactly where to look. A good idea is to keep this guide handy while exploring Lisbon & incorporate a tile excursion while visiting other sights. Photos for many listings can be found on our Facebook page.
Exclusive content: Since Lisbon’s Metro system is an underground art museum, Endless Mile visited all 55 stations to evaluate which are really worth recommending. But in case you want to see more, this guide lists for each station: the artist, a description or title of the piece, location within the station & the year installed. Note that our 12 Metro recommendations are in addition to the 75 listings… even more to explore!
While this guide does not contain a complete listing of all tiles in Lisbon—a worthy but monumental task—the 75 panels selected represent a sample of the city’s finest. This map-based PDF helps you discover even more of Lisbon:
Price: US $4.99 via PayPal. A link to download the PDF will appear after payment is confirmed. It’s a simple process, but be sure to hit the “Complete Transaction” button after payment to see the download link. Use Adobe Acrobat Reader to open & print the file.
Duration: Spend as much time as you like. This is not a guided walk with ordered stops, & few people will want to see each & every panel. However searching for tiles represents one fun, alternative way to explore the city.
Format: A4 landscape, 22 pages. This guide may not be redistributed, resold or reprinted.
Release date: 11 Jul 2012.
- While there is no best time to explore, tile hunting can be weather dependent. Explore subway tiles on a rainy day & stay dry.
- Photographers may prefer the calm of weekend mornings when the center wakes slowly.
- For a good starting point with a high density of azulejos, begin to explore from Praça do Comércio & gradually wander north & west.
- Have fun & enjoy the city!
*** PDF recommended by: Evasões, Jan 2013 (#177). Selected as one of the Top 100 ideas for Portugal!