An undersea vista, 16 July 2021

Deeply embedded in Portugal’s history and culture, azulejos date as far back as the thirteenth century. The word azulejo stems from the Arabic, meaning ‘small polished stone’. Originally, they were fairly simple structures cut into geometric shapes in neutral tones, and the tiles were used to cover up the large areas of blank wall thatContinue reading “An undersea vista, 16 July 2021”

‘Old School’ advertising in Portugal

In 1963, Pan American Airlines (Pan Am) installed a billboard on National Highway 1, which was the main road that linked Porto to Lisbon. Over 50 years later, that billboard still remains on the side of what is now an otherwise ordinary building in the village of Costa do Valado. The road is no longerContinue reading “‘Old School’ advertising in Portugal”

Portuguese Mosaic Tiling: Carris

Tiles (called azulejos) are everywhere in Portugal. They decorate everything from the walls of churches and monasteries, to palaces, houses, fountains, shops, and train stations. They often portray scenes from the history of the country, show its most ravishing sights, or simply serve as street signs, nameplates, or house numbers. The term azulejo comes from the ArabicContinue reading “Portuguese Mosaic Tiling: Carris”

On the Streets of Portugal

One of the oddities of Portugal is the mixture of buildings you find in most towns and cities. Alongside a modern villa you’ll find an old house, or alongside an apartment block will be a patch of unused land, and there are half-built structures all over the countryside. Partly a comment on the current stateContinue reading “On the Streets of Portugal”

Urban Grafitti

This is one of my favourite houses in Aveiro, just a stone’s throw away from the railway station. At first glimpse you’ll miss it, but check out the right hand ‘window’ and someone has drawn a pig on the wall. You used to be able to see the whole image, I have a photo ofContinue reading “Urban Grafitti”