Exploring the Tile while Traveling, Part 2 Portugal

On to the next adventure with Maria! This time we will take a look at the tiles found on her travels to Porto and Lisbon, two beautiful cities in Portugal. Traveling over to Portugal from Morocco, (if you haven’t read my post on our travels to Morocco, click here, to view) I was surprised how unique the tile was from one place to the next.

The Moors brought tile into Portugal where, over time, the Portuguese created their own style.  We saw tile covering the outside of many homes, buildings and churches in both Porto and Lisbon.  While we were on a walking tour of Lisbon, we learned that the tile with images painted on it were put on specific walls and buildings to help tell stories.

We also learned that this was very important as Roman Catholicism was spreading and the tile work was a way for the Church to share biblical teachings to newly converted people or to celebrate saints.

One example in particular is St. Anthony, the saint of lost things, who was born in Lisbon.  In the very neighborhood where he was born and lived there are specific tile works on the buildings celebrating him.

And the Sao Bento train station in Porto, Portugal is a must visit attraction. There you can enjoy the beauty of storytelling as scenes from Portuguese history are expressed through tile work. To learn more about this train station, click here.

On a tour, I had asked why so many facades of the houses had the beautiful tiles.   Although it seems like an expensive exterior material, I was told that, at the time, it was more economical to have the house finished with tile rather than stone finishes.

I was astounded when we walked by this amazing 3D tiles in Lisbon.  This building is old and these tiles have been here for some time.  If 3D tile like this are becoming a ‘trend’, one really can’t go wrong with embracing it in their interior design today as it is truly timeless.

Here are some tiles that remind me of the ones in Lisbon and in some cases are very accessible here at home in North America:

The classic tiles above are available from Country Floors. Home Depot even features a ceramic floor and wall tile in an old country pattern that evokes a Portuguese feel and can even be used outside!

And finally, the Immersion Crystallite Peak tile from AKDO reminds me of the 3D tile we found on the outside of the museum in Lisbon.

If you want to check out Amy’s previous travel post on tile when she was visiting Israel, click here to keep on reading the down2earth interior design travelogue!

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