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.
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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Pastelaria Alcoa specializes in “conventual” pastry (pastry originally made by monk and nuns in Portugal) and follows the traditional recipes created by the Cistercian monks of Alcobaça.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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I was in awe the moment I entered the Alcobaça Monastery, located in Alcobaça, Portugal. The simplicity and sense of lightness was such a contrast to other Gothic churches I had visited. Part of a large complex of monastic buildings, the church was the first Gothic style building in Portugal, following the precepts of the Cistercian Order, with its clean lines, void of decoration except for column capitals and illuminated by rows of windows. The rational style of Cistercian architecture was intended for utilitarian and liturgical purposes, without distractions. The church was consecrated in 1252. Alcobaça is the largest church in Portugal. Click for information on Cistercian architecture.
Week one of a wonder(ful) new photo challenge created by fellow bloggers. Subscribe to all 4 moderator blogs to receive the challenge each week.
Week 1 – Patti of https://pilotfishblog.com/
Week 2 – Ann-Christine aka Leya of https://lagottocattleya.wordpress.com/
Week 3 – Amy of https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/
Week 4 – Tina of https://travelsandtrifles.wordpress.com/