A Dip in The Portuguese Azulejo

Thu, 22.02.2018
Museu Nacional do Azulejo

The Portuguese azulejo: the symbol of a country

Azulejo is a word used to indicate a glazed tile, spread in Portugual and Spain. If you are visiting Lisbon you will see all around you lots of buildings, pavements, ceilings covered by Portuguese azulejo. The term azulejo has Arabic origins, since it has its roots in the Arabic art culture and it means “little polished stone”.

On Thursday 22nd of February our language school in Lisbon participated in a guided visit, illustrated both in English and Portuguese, in Museu Nacional do Azulejo. The museum is set up in the old Mosteiro da Madre de Deus” of the Poor Clare nouns. It was built in 1509 and it is still a consecrated church. The location leaves you speechless, it is perfectly in harmony with the whole exhibition.

Our guided tour has consisted in a journey through the Portuguese azulejo, its development from the XVI century to nowadays. In the Convent there are still: consecrated church, choir, chapel of Saint Anthony and Chapel of Rainha D. Leonor.

The church was rebuilt after the Tejo’s overflowing. It is made in typical Portuguese Baroque, characterized by golden wooden ornaments above azulejos. Here, the Portuguese way of saying “ouro sobre azul”when something is going great.

The tiles presented in the exhibition described the evolution of the tastes and influences in the Portuguese art history. One of the main evidence we have from the past is a panel made by azulejos. It represents Lisbon fifty years before of the great earthquake of the 1755.

To conclude the tour, we took part to a workshop where, for the first time, we were the artists who made tiles. As the guide explained us, we used the majólica technique to make tails and we painted them up to our tastes.

Afterwards we enjoyed a good coffee and a conversation, to share our feelings and to practice our listening and speaking in Portuguese. Don’t miss our next event and be part of this community!


Discovering the beauty of this country with Portuguese tileworks, painted throughout the years.

Azulejo is a typical feature in the Portuguese and Spanish architecture. It is a tin-glazed ceramic tilework, the successor of the Spanish alicatados, brought to the Iberic Peninsula by the Arabs. The tradition of Portuguese azulejo started a long time ago. The witnesses of tiles are always kept alive and preserved in many places: from the churches to the palaces, from the ordinary houses to railways stations.

Museu Nacional do Azulejo, is one of the most important national museums for its unique collection. Also, the location is very impressive since it is located in the ancient Convent of Madre de Deus, founded in 1509 by Queen D. Leonor (1458-1525).

A Visit to The Museum

Our Portuguese language school is pleased to invite you next Thursday, February 22nd, 2018, to visit Museu Nacional do Azulejo. There will be a permanent exhibition of Portuguese azulejo within the majestic Convent, situated in East Lisbon. We will be accompanied through the exhibition by a guide who will explain all the historical and artistic details of this wonderful journey through the times. He will speak a little bit in English and more in depth in Portuguese, hence you will practice Portuguese language by listening and conversating.

A Workshop of Tiles Painting

After the exhibition, you can participate in a workshop. Here, you will have the opportunity to paint tiles on your own and customize them to your taste. It will be your souvenir from Lisbon!

Afterwards, we will enjoy a nice cup of Portuguese coffee with the friendliest people you will find in Lisbon!
We hope to see you there!


WHAT? A guided tour through Portuguese Azulejos
WHERE? At Museu Nacional do Azulejo
WHEN? 22nd of February 2018, 3pm

Meeting point and reservation: Next to the statue in Praça do Comércio at 2pm, then we will take the bus all together to get there. To reserve tickets come to our reception by Tuesday 20th of February 2018.