Do you love old, antique tile as much as I do????

We were so lucky to visit Lisbon during the season of the flowering Jacaranda trees!  But notice the beautiful exterior tiles on this apartment building;  I could not only live in the building but love looking out the window too!


Well on a recent trip to Portugal I saw tiles put to use in every possible way and loved them all.  My trip to Lisbon and the Azores was a fantastic blend of local fresh food, history and culture, incredible scenery, friendly people and sunny skies but for this post, I’ll try to keep the focus on the tiles.

The sidewalks and many of the streets are tile mosaic’s; mostly limestone (the white) and basalt (the black). Basalt is volcanic rock and comes from the volcanic activity in the Azores (the islands of Portugal in the Atlantic Ocean,  a 2 hour flight from Lisbon) and apparently there is a plentiful supply.  (You don’t see too many women in heels- just a head’s up if you plan to visit)

Some of my travel buddies; around the corner from our hotel


PORTUGUESE PAVEMENT:  European Portugues, Brazilian Portuguese: is a traditional-style pavement used for many pedestrian areas in Portugal. It consists of small flat pieces of various different stones, arranged to form a pattern or picture, like a mosaic. It can also be found in Olivença (a disputed territory administered by Spain) and throughout old Portuguese colonies, such as Brazil and Macau. Portuguese workers are also hired for their skill in creating these pavements in places such as Gibraltar. Usually used in sidewalks, it is in town squares and atriums that this art finds its deepest expression.

Craftsmen lay a bedding of gravel upon a well-compacted trench of argillaceous materials, which accommodates the tesserastones, acting as a cement.
Stages of paving

1. Preparation of stones

2. Careful, manual placement of each stone

3. Finishing by spreading cement mix on the pavement

4. Final effect

(Thank you wikipedia for this above description)

I must say, this is such labor intensive work, I wonder if they can afford to continue this tradition or if little by little, new pavement will be done totally different? And maybe already is?

I visited the National Tile Museum and these are a few pictures from inside this once convent with the old church part of the museum.  (Many of these tiles are dated back to middle ages)  I found it fascinating!

SOME BEAUTIFUL EXAMPLES OF TILE INSTALLATIONS; these are mostly in Lisbon and surrounding towns, but some in The Azores



THE AZORES;  I went to the only ceramic tile factory in The Azores.  Could have bought AlOT…..but an overstuffed suitcase saved me $$$$$!!


I could not end this post without showing you the beautiful scenery of THE AZORES. Put Portugal on your bucket list!!



Great trip my friend!! XO

Hope you enjoyed a short tour of Portugal and the lovely tile that makes it such a special place…………wonder what it’s like in the fall??????