Azulejos – Portuguese ceramic tiles

by alrou on July 11, 2010

Azulejos or ceramic tiles can be considered as one of the most original contributions of Portugal to the universal culture.

Having a long tradition in Portuguese Architecture, Azulejo tiles were first introduced in the Iberian peninsula by the Moors in the 14th Century. The word Azulejo originates from the Arabic word al zulayj, which translates to “polished stone”.

These artistic tiles have been used to cover the walls of the Palaces of Kings and Nobles, Churches and Convents for over five centuries.

Tile mosaics can be found in churches & chapels, hospitals, public buildings, parks, fountains, esplanades, police stations and military installations, aquariums, museums, coffee shops, bars, clubs, storefronts, drugstores, viaducts & bridges, subway stations and in railway stations for tile cladding purposes, decorative and artistic use.

Many good books highlighting the artistic value of the Portuguese tile have been published, and a non-exhaustive list is included below, should you want to deepen your knowledge on the subject.

If you have the opportunity, while on a visit to Lisbon, I would vividly recommend stopping by the Tile Museum so that you can have a live experience in the art of Azulejo, see the history of Azulejos in Portugal from the 16th century to the contemporary era, take pictures as a souvenir or even order vintage tile panels, ceramic address tiles and personalized tiles.

I’m including a link to a photo gallery displaying the use of Portuguese tiles in all their splendor (as you can see, I’m not too shy in promoting my photos), so have a look, knowing that comments are appreciated.

  • Lemosaiste

    Great posting about Azulejos – Portuguese ceramic tiles. I Like it.

  • Alrouiller

    Thanks. You produce quite a collection of ceramic tiles! Cheers.

  • Jenny Kent

    Many people like to use ceramic tiles to make flooring. There are a number of advantages to tile flooring. It tends to be extremely durable, and heating and cooling systems can be installed underneath it to radiate through the floor. Many people also find tile flooring aesthetically pleasing, and it is easy to clean, especially in situations where drains are installed in the flooring, allowing people to essentially hose it down.

    Jenny Kent,
    Slate Tile

  • Catherine Delgado

    Wow! Thank you! I always wished to write during my website something like that.Look forward to reading your next site.

  • Pingback: A place worth visiting in Lisbon – Museu Nacional do Azulejo |

  • Ceramic Tiles

    Before user select a material will need to decide what surface the tile will be applied. Tile can be placed as a backsplash behind a stove, or on the wall to the underside of the upper cabinets. Tile is a popular counter top material, and can also be used on the kitchen floor.

  • Porcelain tiles

    The tiles are the best choice to the interior decoration of the bathroom. The floor tiles gives an outstanding look to the home. The floor tiles have a number of designs and all the designs are unique

Previous post:

Next post: