by Gethin Thomas March. 06, 2021 235 views

Azulejos date as far back as the 13th century, when the Moors invaded the lands of Spain and Portugal, but they secured their foothold in Portuguese culture between the 16th and 17th centuries. The word azulejo stems from Arabic roots, meaning ‘small polished stone’. In all likelihood this referred to mosaics, originally fairly simple structures cut into geometric shapes in neutral tones.

These photos were taken on a short trip to the Algarve in Southern Portugal two years ago. The majority of the shots of house fronts were gathered in one street in a small fishing village. Before going on a trip abroad I usually give some time to investigating things on Google Earth that look interesting. I "Street View" down streets to see where the interesting parts of town are.

We were due to stay in Tavira so I researched what villages nearby were worth visiting. A short drive through the salt pans brings you to Santa Luzia. There are only four main narrow streets running parallel with the water front so I "Street Viewed" my way down the second one and almost every house had tiled fronts in many different patterns. So guess where we went.

A bonus was a sea front lined with seafood restaurants where I had chargrilled octopus for the first time. I can't wait to have it again.

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There are 7 comments , add yours!
Antonio Gil 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Thanks for showing a part of my beautiful country. Now you've got to visit the rest of the country 😊 Love the pictures

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Gethin Thomas Replied to Antonio Gil 6 months, 3 weeks ago

We can't  wait to go back.

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Russell Smith 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Hmm I did not know its proper name. I have always called them mosaic tile. This is a cool set of image. I am also glad I am not the only one to use street view to check things out. I did noticed recently that if you zoom into the image prior to street view most of the time there is a faint watermark that gives the year the image/s were taken.

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Gethin Thomas Replied to Russell Smith 6 months, 3 weeks ago

I'll try that.

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Berckmans Peter 6 months, 3 weeks ago

A very cool tradition. Thanks for sharing

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Camellia Staab 6 months, 3 weeks ago

So all outside walls of buildings are tiled?  Very unique and so much character. For some reason within that last few years the local stores have been receiving a tremendous amount of Portuguese dishes and tableware imports and so many of them have similar designs as the one portrayed in photo  #17.

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Gethin Thomas Replied to Camellia Staab 6 months, 3 weeks ago

I think it is unusual to have nearly an entire street but certainly most streets seem to have them scattered about. The interesting thing is it seems to be a fashion that has survived through many different eras so you get some hundreds of years old and then modern houses from the 60's and 70's with modern designs too all in the same street. I could have stayed a lot longer and wandered the other streets too.

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited