Floral Ambiance

High Altar Ambiance

High Altar, Trinidad Church (Iglesia de la Trinidad), Porto, Portugal

The high altar in Trinidad Church, Porto, Portugal, was decorated with vibrant flowers. Flowers were placed throughout the church on all the side altars and other spaces with surface areas. I don’t know it was a special occasion or religious holiday. It was at the end of May. If anyone knows the background on this use of flowers, please let me know. I was fascinated by the stepped structure behind the altar itself. I saw several altars with this type of stepped backdrop in Portugal but don’t know the symbolism.

Side altar, Trinidad Church, Porto, Portugal

 

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Wordless Wednesday

 

Backstreets, Obidos, Portugal

 

Word of the Day: Woebegone

Mourning Becomes Her

Gravestone relief sculpture, Cemiterio dos Prazeres. Lisbon, Portugal

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A Photo A Week: Quintessential

Decorating Portugal

Glazed tiles (Azulejos), Sintra, Portugal

Azulejos, tin-glazed ceramic tiles, were introduced to present-day Spain and Portugal by the invading Moors as early as the 13th century. During the 16th and 17th centuries, their use in Portuguese art and architecture became common. Earlier geometric patterns were replaced with elaborate decorative scenes and ornate elements. Azulejos were used to tell stories, especially in churches (where large blank walls in earlier Gothic buildings were covered with elaborate panels), palaces, schools, and other public building. Today Azulejos are still used in Portuguese architecture on both the interior and exterior of building. Efforts are being made to protect historic Azulejos. Beginning in 2013, Lisbon made it illegal to demolish buildings with tile covered facades. Lisbon’s Banco do Azulejo  stores over 30,000 tiles from demolished or renovated buildings. Aviero, Porto and Ovar have similar programs. Since August 2017, a national law prevents the demolition or renovation of buildings that would mean the removal of tiles.

 

Walls of the 14th century cloister of Porto’s cathedral were covered with tiles in the 18th century. While many scenes are religious, they also include scenes from the Metamorphoses, an epic poem by the Roman writer Ovid.

Exotic subjects or elements often depicted in scenes from Portugal’s global empire. This 18th century panel is in the National Palace of Queluz.

A house in Aveiro, Portugal.

For more pictures and information see my earlier posts on Obidos , Aveiro, and Lisbon.

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Tuesday Photo Challenge: Treat

Cistercian Sweets

Cornucópia, Pastelaria Alcoa, Chiado, Lisbon, Portugal

Cornucópia, a egg cream pastry from the Alcobaça region, in the window of Pastelaria Alcoa, in the Chiado district of Lisbon. The crunchy cone is hand stretched and fried in olive oil, then filled with the egg cream.

Pastelaria Alcoa specializes in “conventual” pastry (pastry originally made by monk and nuns in Portugal) and follows the traditional recipes created by the Cistercian monks of Alcobaça. Convents and monasteries began creating sweets in the 15th-century when the growth of global trade routes brought spices, sugar, and other ingredients to Portugal. Over 200 sweets are still made using the original recipes, many of them kept secret. Numerous places in Portugal are identified with a specific pastry; just check out the local bakeries and you can’t miss them.

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CB&WC: Fountains

Let There Be Water

Detail for one of two identical Baroque fountains in Rossio Square  (Pedro IV Square) in Lisbon, Portugal. I blinked and the water started to flow.

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