Azulejos: A Tile Love Affair

If you’ve been to Portugal, you’ll have noticed that there are tiles everywhere.

I grew up seeing azulejos (Portuguese tiles) all over the place: in bathrooms, kitchens, street signs, buildings, floors, you name it, they were there. I even remember making Mother’s and Father’s Day tiles at school. It’s so much a part of Portuguese culture that we have a museum for it.

My dear friend @suhanya_ thought it was pretty cool that they were omnipresent and took photos of some of the tiles she came across during her trip to Porto. I’ve asked her to share it on here and we’ve decided to start collecting pictures of tiles from around the world. Here’s a small set of photos of her affair with azulejos.


These ornamental tiles were first introduced by Moors, who invaded the Iberian Peninsula in the 8th Century, and quickly became a part of both Portuguese and Spanish cultures; the word azulejo comes from the arabic al-zulayj. Today, Portuguese tiles have their own decorative motifs and are so sought after that they are often stolen from old buildings and traded in the black market for tons of money!

I’ll add another collection of azulejos after my next trip there.

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