February 11th, 2010
Azulejos, traditional Portuguese tiles, are a highly recognizable expression of Portuguese culture and a great contribution to the world’s artistic heritage. The ceramic techniques and glazing methods were adapted during the centuries long ago when Christian and Islamic-Moorish cultures coexisted on the Iberian peninsula on the Western edge of Europe. It was there that the idea of combining large amounts of glazed-tile decor with architecture was adopted and developed with amazing abandon.
I have had this book on Portuguese decorative tiles on my bookshelf for some time now. It is the kind of book where you wish you could just walk right into the pages. Just by looking you can experience the coolness of the glazed tiles under your hand, stand in centuries old rooms, and smell the flowers and orange blossoms in the garden. My wish for this will be coming true this April when I visit the lovely little country of Portugal for the first time while on my honeymoon. I will be visiting many of these very spots in Lisbon and Sintra. I can already smell the old plaster walls and the flowers…..