Museu Nacional do Azulejo
Type: Architecture, Art & Culture, Art Museums, Attractions, Family Friendly, Historic Sites, History Museums, Museums
Its enviable setting within the cloisters of the beautiful 16th-century Convento da Madre de Deus makes the National Tile Museum one of Lisbon's most alluring cultural attractions. This is the only... Read More
Its enviable setting within the cloisters of the beautiful 16th-century Convento da Madre de Deus makes the National Tile Museum one of Lisbon's most alluring cultural attractions. This is the only museum in Portugal dedicated entirely to the azulejo, the decorative tile, and visitors can browse a stunning collection of panels and individual pieces displayed chronologically in a series of halls and rooms. The earliest examples date from the 16th century the designs of which are influenced by Moorish and later Spanish decorative patterns. Other pieces draw on Italian and Flemish illustrative techniques; those from the 16th century are particularly rich in colour and detail. The patterns and figurative compositions that define 17th-century Portuguese timework – the blue and white azulejos on display and that embellish many of Lisbon's religious buildings, historic monuments, some restaurants and even one or two cafes – will be more familiar to visitors.
- Best for Attractions near Cruise Port Because: Sited in Lisbon's eastern suburbs means that the National Tile Museum is nearer to Santa Apolónia cruise port than the city centre.
- Best for Museums Because: Portugal's finest collection of tile work is exhibited here at the Museu Nacional do Azulejo.
- Best for Family-Friendly Museums Because: A tour of the museum also takes in the neighbouring Madre de Deus church, renowned for its dazzling gilded wood interior and elaborate altarpiece.