Museu do Azulejo
The National Azulejo Museum is one of the most important Portuguese museums, featuring a unique tile collection, highlighting an artistic expression that distinguishes the Portuguese culture.
Its uniqueness, is also present in the building where the old Monastery of Madre de Deus, founded in 1509 by Queen D. Leonor, is located.
The collections on display allow you to make an expedition through the tile history, from the fifteenth century to the present day.
One of the major parts of the museum is the tile-making exhibition, a step-by-step exhibit of tile-making, from a lump of clay to the final glazing, helping visitors to see how to combine practical with decorative purposes.
The tiles with Islamic origins are another of the areas not to be missed, with their attractive geometrical patterns, varied color palettes, and glazing techniques, Islamic tiles continue to be an inspiration to tile-makers and home decorators alike.
But the “piéce of résistance” is Lisbon’s panel, located on the second floor of the main cloister and with 23m long, is a vast tiled panorama of Lisbon, a captivating representation of the city’s waterfront as it was before the great earthquake.
The museum is not only made of tiles but, as mentioned before, the building itself is very rich, including a Manueline Cloister, a small but stunning cloister, one of the few surviving features of the original convent of Madre de Deus.
And finally, the Madre de Deus Church, a magnificent barrel vault convent church, a result of three centuries of construction and decoration which contains enough paintings to fill a gallery.