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Azulejos (singular: azulejo) are ceramic tiles used as decoration inside and outside a building. Often these tiles depict historical tableaus and biblical fragments. There are also azulejos in checkered motives in countless variations.

The word azulejo is derived from Arabic word Al-zuleique which means smooth polished little stone. The Arabs might have been inspired by Roman mosaics. In turn the Portuguese kings admired the way buildings in Arabian regions were decorated with these polished stone so much they adopted these as azulejos into Portuguese architecture starting from the 15th century. Andalusia region in South Spain with its strong Moorish influence also adopted this tile craft. However the Spanish tiles are colourful unlike the majority of old azulejos in Portugal which are dominantly in blue. This might declare the origin of the word blue in Porguese and perhaps Spanish as well; azul.

Here are azulejos I captured in Porto. First come the churches.

Capela das Almas (Das Almas chapel) located at Porto busiest shopping street; Rua Santa Catarina

Capela das almas Porto


Capela das Almas Porto


Capela das Almas Porto


Igreja de Santo Ildefonso

Igreja de Santo Ildefonso


Igreja de Santo António dos Congregados, the blue tiled building in the middle. On the right is Estação de São Bento with its fabulous azulejos decorated main hall.

igreja Dos Congregados Porto

My family and I walked from our hotel in Boavista, along the Douro to la Ribeira, approximately 5 km. It was a tough walk under the scorching sun with temperature of 30 degree Celsius but it was surely worth it when we saw these houses. They are decorated with checkered motive azulejos.

houses along the Douro

houses along the Douro

This is an example of colourful azulejos, lovely right?
Houses along the Douro

When I come back to Portugal, I would like to explore more places with azulejos building.

17 thoughts on “Azulejos

    • Biru bahasa Italia azzura, dalam bahasa Spanyol dan Portugis biru itu azul. Satu rumpun bahasa ini, dari keluarga bahasa Latin.

    • Gw kemarin sempet lihat beberapa ateliernya di Porto. Bagus ya, untuk satu dinding aja gitu. Terus ubin untuk lantainya yang dari Spanyol atau Maroko, yang satu warna gitu. Bagus deh pasti jadinya🙂

    • Ini ubinnya dibakar dulu baru dilukis pake tangan Dan yang versi mahalnya. Kalo ngga salah ada yang versi cetakan massal gitu deh. Sama seperti batik tulis vs batik print.

  1. Pingback: Lisbon’s Urban Decorative Walls | Indonesia in my pocket

  2. Keramiknya memang keren banget ya!! Khas gitu!! In some way Delft juga terkenal akan keramiknya tapi nggak banyak dipakai untuk dinding gini deh😛

    • Kalo Delfts blauw kan untuk perangkat makanan (sendok, garpu, mangkuk, piring) dan vas gitu. Kalo azulejos untuk di dinding. Ada beberapa tableau azulejos di Lisbon yang dibuat di Delft loh Ko.

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