The little smooth polished stone arrived in Portugal and stayed for ever. After covering walls with recurring patterns, it started telling stories of saints and angels. Stª Catarina, Stª Teresa de Ávila, São Roque, São Paulo and São Lourenço are a few of the saints of major devotion who had their lives recorded on azulejo panels. An easy way to be remembered over the centuries.
The monastery of São Vicente de Fora in Lisbon tells other stories. If you know the fables of La Fontaine, you will find them on the panels that decorate the cloisters. At the Museu Nacional do Azulejo discover the success story of the hatmaker, a shepherd who changed his life and went to the city to sell hats.
This is our oldest comic strip. But if you prefer more aristocratic stories, visit the Palácio Nacional de Queluz and take a walk in the gardens, decorated with scenes from the Court that lived there.
Nor was the history of Portugal neglected by the azulejo masters, as you can confirm at the fantastic Palácio do Buçaco or in the Sala dos Reis (Hall of the Kings) at Alcobaça Abbey. To do justice to the long history of this decorative art, be sure to visit the courts of justice. At Ovar, Tomar and Lisboa, there is a place too for azulejos. This time with modern views of Law and Justice recounted by Querubim Lapa, Jorge Barradas and Júlio Resende.