| Recurring Themes | City of Tiles

Have you ever taken a mosey through your photos and come to realise that you have subconsciously been capturing a common theme through the years? 

Thinking about it now, I realise that patterns and motifs have been a constant source of fascination and inspiration to me. I cannot help but find myself engrossed by the way different cultures choose to decorate their public/private spaces and be mesmerised by the motifs and symbols used in art and other forms of expression. This obsession has become part of my lifestyle and so I thought it was duly appropriate to explore this obsession on the blog.

Lisbon will forever be ingrained in my head as a tiled city. A city embellished with tiles that artistically and strikingly decorate the facades of the city.

The azulejos (tiles) of Lisbon are beautiful silent witnesses of the story of the city. They tell a tale through the geometric cultural patterns of the Islamic traditions of the Moors, the Dutch, Spanish and  Portuguese who all added their stories creating an ornate illustration in tiles of how the city grew, changed to what it is today. 

LINKS | Go Lisbon Azulejos Info 


  1. I'm crazy for the tiles in Lisbon...in Porto, there are some amazing ones that I just adore so much!! I enjoy the stories and feelings these tiles tell to those around. Love it :) xx

  2. The tiles are without a doubt one of the most fascinating parts of Lisbon... but, to me, one of the most tragic, as well. Although Lisbon is beautiful in its rundown grittiness, I can't help but think of how beautiful it might be if the azulejos were truly maintained and allowed the shine the way that they should.

    1. I think this might the rare occasion where I disagree with you Cee. It is sad but it is also beautiful because in my view at least, it is still an honest retelling of the story of Lisbon. Since the economic downturn, it would be wrong in someways if the tiles were maintained but the city still semi-abandoned and so many residents in difficulties. It is a sad story but still part of Lisbon's history nonetheless.

  3. Well as we said, my theme is a little more throwaway, this kinda puts that to shame. The other thing I did notice is that I seem to have been drawn to signs and graphics, I guess I didn't realise at the time though. Something I still very much do. Really lovely post Yasumi, these streets tell many stories.

  4. Oh these photos are wonderful. I love the pattern theme and Lisbon seems like a great city for photo ops!

    Allie of ALLIE NYC


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