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 in Portugal. 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 almost 100 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 & factories 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 you 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 every listing are included in the guide, & many more can be found on our Facebook page.
Since Lisbon’s Metro system is an underground art museum, Endless Mile visited all 56 stations to evaluate which are really worth recommending. We’ve selected three per line, but in case you want to see more this guide lists: the artist, a description or title of the piece, location within the station & the year installed… for each station.
While this guide does not contain a complete listing of all tiles in Lisbon—a worthy but monumental task—the 97 panels selected represent a sample of the city’s finest. We’ve also marked 26 as the best of the bunch… if you’d like help narrowing down the options. Don’t miss them! This map-based PDF helps you discover more of Lisbon.
Sample sheets below demonstrate the guide’s general layout:
Time Out: Lisboa • 19-25 Sep 2012 (#260). Read the article (in Portuguese) by clicking the photo below:
Evasões • Jan 2013 (#177). Selected as one of the Top 100 ideas for Portugal!