Tuesday, 24 March 2015

A weekend in Lisbon - Tiles part 1

Paul and I have our birthdays within 6 days of one another - me on the 13th, and Paul on the 19th of March - and every year we try to do something as a joint celebration...a meal out, night away, day trip, or occasionally, a full weekend away.

This year, we managed to stick another pin in our imaginary map of places visited, when we jetted off to Lisbon on Friday 13th March.

For me, the interest in visiting Portugal's capital city, was sparked when we were in Hong Kong in 2009 and whilst there, we took a ferry to the former Portuguese colony of Macau for the day. A very hot day for a pale, freckly, red head...never in the history of me, has my hair been that frizzy, and my face that red! I'm sure everyone I passed thought I was about to explode.

hot and bothered in Macau 2009
I fell completely in the love with the bright tiles I saw on the exterior walls of some of the buildings there, as well as the incredible patterned, cobbled pedestrian areas. The tiles were naturally beautiful, but when the sun shone on them, the colours sang!

ahh the original Portuguese tiles in Macau
So did Lisbon live up to my tile expectations? Honestly, I was gobsmacked! 

Gobsmacked at how omnipresent they were, and at the sheer areas covered by them on the outside of the buildings - entire facades bedecked in them, and I'm not talking your two up two down English terraced house sized. Nope. Huge multi storied, multi windowed buildings, with the most beautiful tiles gracing their fronts. I couldn't quite wrap my head around having to tackle a task of that magnitude. Never mind the tedium of such a job!

After reading up a bit about them since we got home, I have learned that they are called azulejo in Portugal, and that whilst they are ornamental, they also served as a method of temperature control in homes. We did spot a few instances of them covering the walls of the basement rooms of restaurants in the city.

I've included a few photos showing the tiles and the buildings that they adorned. I took so many photos that I may do another post of the close ups I took, but there would be far too many to include them in this one.

Fabulous tiled panels on the frontage of this old pharmacy

I love the plants at the top of this tiled panel
Which are your favourites?


No comments:

Post a Comment