Have you ever been in Lisbon, Portugal ? This magical city is full of inspiration – in every hand-painted tile and misty alleyway from the dramatic architecture of the Belem to the bustling crowds in the Chiado. We were in Lisbon at the end of May 2013 and I think this was just the right time for visiting the city – before the summer heat, when is warm enough during the day with chilly breeze in the evening. I love the nordic achitecture but I have to admit – the monotonous shades of grey can get depressing. Thats why I loved how that city is embracing the colours.
One of the most beatiful things are the so called azulejo – a rainbow of hand-made tiles.
In some neighbourhoods, they cover nearly every home. Azulejos were introduced to Portugal during Moorish times. You can still see this influence in some of the designs with strong geometric patterns and contrasting colours.
Over time, tastes changed and natural elements, such as flowers, began appearing on the tiles. During the 16th century, more of the tiles were produced in Portugal itself and began to portray large murals of historic and religious scenes, in addition to geometric patterns.
Tiles are so important to the culture of Portugal, Lisbon even boasts an Azulejos Museum. It has the largest collection of Portuguese tiles in the world, some of which are priceless. Sadly, we didn’t have time to visit the museum this time around, but it is definitely on our ‘must visit’ list.
Lisbon is a spectacular city for anyone who loves colour, architectural photography and a lively atmosphere. We’re looking forward to returning for more adventures in the Portuguese capital.
P.S. If you want some colour in your home using tiles – here is a very helpful article for how you can combine the colurs and patterns!