Shopping for Azulejos in Lisbon

.article-cta-top

The Moors introduced elaborate geometric tile work to Portugal when they ruled the Iberian Peninsula. But after the Reconquista, the Portuguese — no longer bound by Muslim laws against depicting figures — developed their own style of hand-painted tiles called azulejos. Lisbon façades frequently have expanses of colorful identical azulejos. But the art reaches its highest expression in mural-like compositions, usually done in blue and white (the Igreja de São Vicente de Fora in the Alfama has a particularly rich azulejo mural collection).

Numerous stores in Lisbon sell azulejos, both hand-painted and factory-made. Here is a selection of the best places to purchase the tiles, whether you seek just a single antique piece for a bookshelf or an entire mural to decorate your bath.

Fábrica Sant’Anna

Carlos of Fábrica Sant’Anna in Lisbon
Carlos of Fábrica Sant’Anna in Lisbon - Photo by Hideaway Report editor

With a pretty storefront in Chiado, this azulejo manufacturer is the oldest in Lisbon, dating to the 18th century. The company still uses traditional methods and classic patterns, but it happily accepts custom commissions (tiles shipped out of the country avoid the 23 percent VAT). The showroom displays mostly new hand-painted tiles, but it also has a small selection of antique pieces.

Fábrica Sant’Anna
Rua do Alecrim 95. Tel. (351) 21-342-2537

Solar Antiques

Verónica, part of the third-generation family that owns Solar in Lisbon
Verónica, part of the third-generation family that owns Solar in Lisbon - Photo by Hideaway Report editor

No other shop has such an impressive selection of antique tiles, ranging from 15th-century geometric Moorish pieces to 20th-century azulejos, with both individual tiles and murals in various sizes for sale. Browsing the rambling, historic space is a delight. We came away with a charming blue-and-white 18th-century tile depicting a dog.

Solar Antiques
Rua Dom Pedro V 70. Tel. (351) 21-346-5522

.article-cta-block

Loja dos Descobrimentos

Josefa of Loja dos Descobrimentos in Lisbon
Josefa of Loja dos Descobrimentos in Lisbon - Photo by Hideaway Report editor

On the edge of the Alfama, this bright shop has hand-painted azulejos and azulejo murals with more-contemporary designs, in addition to antique reproductions. It also stocks a tempting selection of ceramics from around Portugal. I was particularly taken with the colorful and intricately decorated serving dishes made near Coimbra.

Loja dos Descobrimentos
Rua dos Bacalhoeiros 14B. Tel. (351) 21-886-5563

Read more about our editor’s trip to Portugal

By Hideaway Report Editor Hideaway Report editors travel the world anonymously to give you the unvarnished truth about luxury hotels. Hotels have no idea who the editors are, so they are treated exactly as you might be.
Learn more...
.article-cta-bottom

Keep Reading

Tagged: