Azulejo is a form of Portuguese or Spanish painted, tin-glazed, ceramic tilework. There are some exquisite examples of these on the exterior of houses and other buildings in Lisbon. But sadly there are many broken tiles to be seen.






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I live in the UK, but when I was younger I spent several years travelling the world followed by a period living in South Africa. I look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

49 thoughts on “Azulejo”

    1. There are many that are still in excellent condition, but they wouldn’t fit the challenge 😉 I will write a post or two about Portugal one day.

  1. Jude, I LOVE windows! These are so luscious; i want to go to Portugal for the windows!

    I do hope current artisans can make a living continuing these ancient crafts like tile-making and expert repair, but I fear the funds are not there in economies that continue to crumble in Europe.

    Post more of these! I’m off to explore a couple of your “window links” showing at end of post.

    1. I have loads of windows posts Sammy! And more in the archived ‘Postcards’ blog if you ever get that bored! A lot of Portugal is crumbling and I suspect you are right, it is not helped by the economy there. Not sure things are getting any better either 😦

  2. I love these old tiles Jude. When I lived in Wimbledon, our house (built in 1901) had a row of painted glazed tiles running down either side of the front door. The examples in your photos look suitably Mediterranean though.
    Regards as always, Pete. x

    1. The flat we lived in in Surrey was built in 1911 and had lovely dark green tiles in the communal area (they could have been better cared for) and all the fireplaces in the flat (3 of them) had the same tiles. I would have liked to replace them with painted ones as some were missing/cracked.

  3. I’ll have to write a piece on the charm of the broken sometime. These photos are beautiful because of their dilapidation, and because they’re blue and white – another mystery. What’s the charm of blue and white?

    1. I did think of writing a post about Broken Hill, but I really don’t have the time, nor digital photos, but it was my first thought. I guess blue and white are attractive because they combine the thoughts of a blue sky/sea and peacefulness with the clean, bright, purity of white so are aesthetically pleasing.

      Anyway what are you doing commenting?

    1. It is a lovely city, compact enough to stroll around, though a bit hilly and those cobbles can be treacherous in the wet! But I’d be happy to go back.

    1. I loved Lisbon, but I was quite distraught about the condition of a lot of the buildings, which I think I have said before. So I wanted to capture these tiles before they are ruined forever. it would be nice to think that one day perhaps someone will think about repairing the damage. And I do like decay 😉

  4. What gorgeous tiles, love the blue and white. I do like the distressed look, but sure those buildings are magnificent in their pristine condition.

    1. They are Sherri – the shame of it is that even the pristine tiled buildings are not exempt from that awful graffiti that seems prevalent in Europe.

    1. I don’t associate tiles with Malta. I will have to have a look at my photos! Yes, those broken windows are so charming aren’t they, with the remnants of the blue tiles – I am a sucker for buildings like this.

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