The Museu Nacional do Azulejo or National Tile Museum is one of the most important national museums, for its unique collection - the Azulejo (tile), an artistic expression which distinguishes the Portuguese culture, and for the building where it is located - the ancient Convent of Madre de Deus, founded in 1509.
The art of tile making is a Moorish inheritance, much adapted – most noticeably in the addition of human figurative motifs, forbidden by Islam.
We will describe you the Top 5 features you can’t miss when visiting the Museu Nacional do Azulejo.
1 – Tile-making Exhibit
Step-by-step exhibits of tile-making, from a lump of clay to the final glazing, help visitors to see how it combines practical uses with decorative ends.
2 – Madre de Deus Church
The magnificent barrel-vaulted convent church is the result of three centuries of construction and decoration, and contains enough paintings to fill a gallery.
3 – Moorish Tiles
With their attractive geometrical patterns, varied color palettes, and glazing techniques, Moorish tiles continue to be an inspiration to tile-makers and home decorators alike.
4 – Manueline Cloister
This small but stunning cloister is one of the few surviving features of the original convent of Madre de Deus.
5 – Lisbon Panel
On the second floor of the main cloister and 23m long you can see the Lisbon Panel, a vast tiled panorama of Lisbon, a captivating representation of the city’s waterfront as it was before the great earthquake.