Azulejos is painted tin-glazed ceramic tile work widespread in Portugal and Spain. In Portugal, you will find them outdoors and indoors on walls in private and public buildings. (For somebody, who is used to tiles only as decoration in bathrooms or on floors as in many other European countries, it is a bit unusual). The variety of azulejos reaches from simple reproduced white-blue tiles to big detailed pictures that are indeed real pieces of art (like those at Sao Bento station). Similar kind of tile work has been traditionally produced in some other European countries (like Italy and Netherlands). As this kind of tile work origins from Moorish culture, it was indeed first applied on the Iberian peninsula.
If you want to know more about azulejos and during your Portugal journey, visit the National Tile Museum (>>>) in Lisbon. The museum is located in the former Convent of Madre Deus. As convents were banished from Portugal some time ago, it is a state museum. Following the visiting route you will see how the art of azulejos and its techniques developed with time.
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