Museu Nacional do Azulejo

National Tile Museum in Lisbon (Museu Nacional do Azulejo)

Today we will tell you about an unusual museum in Lisbon, which at the same time could be considered as a business card of both the city and the country Portugal.

The glazed tiles were brought in Portugal by Arabs. They became so popular and even got the local name – Azulejo. In the beginning of the 15th century Azulejo became the main decorative material and now the whole museum in Lisbon is dedicated to it.
Museu Nacional do Azulejo

The tiles in Portugal were in use before the Arab influence, but these were the Arabs introduced Islamic and geometric motifs to it, due to which we now know the Mediterranean tiles. This kind of tiles has been very popular in Portugal since the 15th century.
Museu Nacional do Azulejo

In the 17th century, hagiographic motifs were added to the geometric motifs were: Saints and their life stories appeared on the tiles.
hagiographic motifs

hagiographic motifs

In the museum, the whole so-called hunting room is dedicated to hunting themed drawings on the tiles, still the 17th century:
hunting themed drawings on the tiles

In the 18th century, biblical images made in blue became popular:
hunting themed drawings on the tiles

In the 19th century, the tiles became convex:
portuguese tile

There are many interesting compositions from the 20th century:
portuguese tile

portuguese tile

portuguese tile

portuguese tile

In the museum, you can find not just only individual installations. There are several rooms агддн decorated with tile. For example, such a courtyard:
National Tile Museum in Lisbon

Two-storeyed church built by King Joao III:
National Tile Museum in Lisbon

National Tile Museum in Lisbon

Modern installations at temporary exhibitions:
National Tile Museum in Lisbon

A permanent exhibition – panorama of Lisbon made of tiles on the third floor of the museum:
National Tile Museum in Lisbon

National Tile Museum in Lisbon

There are plenty images of the city around, and more recent works:
portuguese tile

portuguese tile

This is how the tiles look in urban live. You can encounter them in many places strolling around Lisbon.
portuguese tile
Also, the museum has a gift shop which sells a lot of useless souvenirs.

The museum is located at: Rua da Madre de Deus, 4, 1900-312 Lisboa
Entrance – around 5 euros
More information can be found on the official website: http://www.museudoazulejo.gov.pt