Azulejos – Street art before street art was cool

Portugal tiles

While wandering the streets of Portugal both of us were drawn to the magnificent and incredibly intricate tiles colouring the cities. After joining a few free walking tours in Porto and Lisbon (something that we would highly recommend doing if you’re after a local take on a new city) we learnt about the history behind Portuguese tiles known as ‘Azulejos’. Dating back to Egyptian and Arabic civilizations they were introduced to Portugal in the 13th century and were quickly adopted into Portuguese architecture. Importantly cobalt blue features heavily in Azulejos, with the mineral Cobalt serving as a symbol of the country’s wealth and opulence.

During our three and half weeks abroad, it became a common occurrence for Tess to end up trailing behind Ky in an attempt to catalogue the endless assortment of tiles lining the streets. 

Below is just a brief snapshot of what this beautiful country has to offer. Even better, they can be enjoyed anywhere – from the grandest of buildings, down the narrowest of alleyways, even on the side of public toilet blocks, and without paying a cent!

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