Lisbon Baroque & the Art of Tiles
The word Baroque comes from the Portuguese barroco, which means an imperfect pearl. Baroque is an architectural and decorative style which flourished all over Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries—a time when Portugal enjoyed tremendous wealth from the discovery and exploitation of mines in Brazil. Some say Baroque is the art of extravagance; others say it is the art of embellishment. Your tour takes you to visit two of the finest examples of Baroque art in Lisbon. The first is the beautiful Basilica da Estrela, whose impressive interior features marble of various colors on the walls and flooring. It houses the famous Christmas crib by Machado de Castro and the mausoleum of the founder Queen Maria I. The second highlight of the tour is the Tile Museum housed in the former Madre de Deus Convent. No country has used tile as an art form to the same extent as Portugal. This unique museum shows how the tiles are made, and demonstrates their versatile use over a period of five centuries, right up to the present. The museum’s masterpiece is a very long panel of tiles dating back to 1700, depicting the city of Lisbon as it was in that era. The former church was entirely redecorated in the 18th century, reflecting Portuguese Baroque art in the most beautiful way, with gilded carvings, azulejos, marble and precious Brazilian woods. Before leaving the museum, enjoy some free time to buy souvenirs at the museum shop or just relax in the lovely gardens and the original café complete with unusual kitchen tiles.
Tour does not operate on Mondays.