Jo’s Monday walk : Azulejos rule!

Walk down any street in the old part of Tavira and you’re bound to meet with a few azulejos. These beautiful tiles have a purpose in life, as well as looking highly decorative. Their function is to maintain temperature inside a building, very useful in keeping houses cool in summer heat and not too cold in the winter. I’ve never lived inside a building clad in azulejos, more’s the pity, so I can’t verify how well they work, but I’d be happy to give it a try. Trouble is, I’d want to be on the outside to admire them. You have to admit, they’re worth a second look.

Translating from the Arabic as ‘small polished stone’, the majority of azulejos are blue and white, and the shapes are a geometric representation of flowers and leaves. When you come upon a burst of colour, often edging a door or a window, it’s a thing of joy.

Wander with me through a street or two. Don’t for a moment imagine that the tiles will all be pristine and immaculate. These homes have seen life, though some are sadly neglected and still others are unoccupied.

Glazed tiles were originally invented in Egypt, but Portugal has a long history of decorating houses in this way. If you’re ever in Lisbon, the Tile Museum is a wonderful place to spend a few hours. More locally you simply have to look around you.

Modern houses often adopt a tile panel in deference to this lovely style. They are a beautiful way to enhance an outdoor space or terrace.

Let’s face it- I simply love showing off my town, even when the images are less than perfect, like this church. Not only is it a particular favourite, but it’s my Last on the Card for the month of March, for Brian. In fact, I’m going overboard on the challenges today. You might have noticed that there are many BrightSquares for Becky, and I’m sure that Ann-Christine won’t mind if I add this to her Lens-Artists selection of delights, You Pick It!

walking logo

It’s been a difficult Easter for me, in more ways than one, but I’m adopting a spirit of ‘the show must go on’, and I have some lovely walks to share. Join me any time here on Jo’s Monday walk. I’ll try and make you welcome.


Sarah’s walk is pure nostalgia for me, and very beautiful :

The Lewis Burn inlet walk at Kielder Water

Janet loves her new desert home, and it’s very easy to see why!

That bloomin’ desert!

Can you believe that snow still lingers in some places? Rupali doesn’t seem to mind :

Weekend 117 : Back to Hiking

Standing stones make a great focus on this easy ramble with Emma :

Dunsfold to Cranleigh/ 9.75m Circular & Modern Day Druids

You couldn’t get anything more different than the street art that Eunice loves :

Manchester street art 2021 (2)

Meanwhile Drake watches another day come and go :

Another start and ending

Sheltered waters is a lovely place name. Join Suzanne there!

Weekend Walk – Kulim Park, Tauranga

Winding up a fabulous series with Carol :

All the Way to the End

The Last Walk

You can’t fault Denzil on his enthusiasm for Belgium :

Enjoy a day hiking on the Kalmthout Heath

Or Rosemay on her love for Western Australia. Tricky spellings aren’t they?

Autumn Walk around Lake Leschenaultia

That’s it from me! See you next time. Have a good week!


      1. No u are lucky to be living amidst such scenic scapes during this pandemic. Here in Delhi we are landlocked. The parks & monuments are there & so are the crowds . It is stay at home for us

  1. I have always enjoyed the beauty of these gorgeous tiles, but I really didn’t think of them beyond their decorative purpose, Jo. It makes sense to think of them as insulation, and it’s a beautiful option. I completely understand how proud you are of your beautiful town. I would be, too! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. It’s a lovely place just to wander, Debra. During lockdown it all felt so shuttered and unwelcoming, but gradually the streets are restored to themselves and there are smiles on faces again ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. That’s a really good report, Jo. I’m thrilled to hear that life is returning to your town. What a year we’ve all been through, right?

  2. A beautiful uplifting post Jo. I love all the colours and geometric designs and that final photo of the church with the angels trumpets in full flower, divine ๐Ÿฅฐ. I wonder, do the modern houses still use the tiles? Sorry to here your Easter was so stressful. Hope it has now settled down and the neighbour is feeling better.

    1. You really don’t see modern houses using the style here, Pauline, which is a great shame in many ways. I imagine it comes down to time and money. It will be a sad day when all the older houses have gone, but I won’t live to see it. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks, hon! I do love that church.

  3. Absolutely beautiful collection of glazed tiles. We saw many similar ones in Morocco — and when I say many, that’s what I mean. They were on walls, doors, windows, floors — everywhere. And so gorgeous.

  4. It is indeed “a thing of joy!” I would love to wander those streets admiring the many variations on the Azulejos. They look similar to some of the Moroccan tiles I’ve encountered in museums. Hoping this finds you doing well.

  5. Those are beautiful, Jo, and it’s wonderful when decorative/attractive goes hand-in-hand with useful. Thanks for linking my post and I hope your Monday’s been grand.


    1. I agree, Janet! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ A very different Easter for me, including a crack of dawn emergency hospital visit for a neighbour and most of today spent collecting her again and ensuring that she is ok at home. I haven’t even eaten my chocolate bunny yet! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I remember well how very impressed I was with all the beautiful buildings clad in azulejos when we visited Portugal a couple of years ago when we were on our cruise. Thank you for bring back the lovely memories of your adopted country.

  7. Wow! Spectacular, Jo. I love tile work and to see so much with such variety is a treat. One would never get tired of walking around there. I hope things are looking up for you.

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