Art and Architecture

Quintessential Portuguese

It is only when you visit that you fully appreciate Portugal's love of azulejos

What do you think of when you think of Portugal – Cristiano Ronaldo, fado, pastel de nata, Lisbon, fresh fish, lovely people, port, madeira, piri piri, cork, stunning beaches or azulejos? The latter for me is certainly something which I now consider quintessential Portuguese. I cannot resist them even when we are on a fast train, hence these rather poor photographs of when we whizzed through Ovar.

And when we arrived in Averio I found more azulejos to appreciate. Even their dilapidated condition doesn’t put me off!

I just love this approach to covering private and public buildings with tile panels, particularly because so many reflect aspects of local life as well as Portugal’s history. It is for me quintessential Portuguese, which probably explains why so many of my posts over the past couple of years have been about azulejos. But what do you think? I would love to know what first comes to mind for you when you think of Portugal, so do leave a comment below.

But before you do I am sure there are a few of you out there who would love to know more about these azulejos! I’ve learnt that the ones in Averio are the creation of the factory Fábrica da Fonte Nova and were created around 1916. Just a year after Jorge Colaco’s incredible creation in Porto.  I’ve not yet found out anything about the ones at Ovar’s railway station, however I have discovered that Ovar has even more azulejos than Porto. One website describes it as a true open-air tile museum so somewhere clearly I need to visit!

Aveiro's original railway station

PS Don’t forget to share your quintessential Portuguese!

19 comments on “Quintessential Portuguese

  1. Pingback: The Victorians knew what they were doing | The life of a 40 something

  2. Anne-Marie Eliseo

    Thanks for the background on azulejos Becky, so very Portuguese it seems.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So very lovely, Becky. Between you and Jo, am now seeing that Portugal needs to be a destination v. soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ovar isn’t on my radar. Well, it wasn’t, but apparently Andrew Petcher has beaten us to it and is off there soon. Caramba! 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pastel de nata – thank goodness the coop sell them now, and thank goodness the’re a lot more expensive than in Portugal!

    Liked by 1 person

    • oh no don’t tell me that i have a coop within walking distance!!!! Hopefully they are LOTS more expensive otherwise I will be rolling down there soon 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Quick associations for me would be:
    Sandy beaches
    Cobbles and patterns
    pastel de nata
    cork trees
    large squares/placa
    Manueline architecture
    AND why don’t I live there?????

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I think the slight dilapidation somehow adds to the charm!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The blue and white colours are so lovely together.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. We love Azulejos and living in Portugal we are treated to them all of the time on our travels, did you also know that there is an organisation that is petitioning to have them protected by law? I really hope they manage it! P.S Lovely article. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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