There are many beautiful tiles found throughout Portugal. They are called azulejos which comes from the arabic word meaning "polished stone". The original colours were green, blue, yellow, and white. Now the most common colours are blue and white.
They were first brought to Portugal by the Moors in the 13th century. It wasn't until the 16th and 17th centuries that their use became more popular. There were many practical uses for the tiles. They were used on the walls of buildings to protect them from the noise, damp, and heat. It is also used a lot for artwork which is found throughout the country. Many times the tiles portray scenes from history. They look like great big paintings. The tiles can be found everywhere.... in churches, monasteries, restaurants, train stations, benches, and street signs.
There is even a tile museum in Lisbon which we visited. I found it very interesting. My favourite types of tiles are the illusion tiles.