Rosa Mello do Rego and Inês Pais showcase the dreamy tiled city.
Rosa lived in London for 20 years working with respected galleries, such as Christie’s, Stephen Friedman and Hauser & Wirth, and founded Simply Rosa, organiser of events and tourist-cultural itineraries. After returning to Portugal, she is now creating experiences in Lisbon for the XN Lifestyle Group. Inês Pais is the guide and curator of XN programmes. Art historian and Lisbon expert, her focus is mainly on architecture and urbanism. She has worked in museums and decided to concentrate on cultural tourism a decade ago. She designs the discovery tours of Lisbon.
Museu do Azulejo
Rua da Madre de Deus, 4 \\\ +351 21 810 0340 \\\ www.museudoazulejo.gov.pt
This museum has a unique collection and a tile panel showing Lisbon before the great earthquake in 1755. Here is the history of the azulejo (tin-glazed tile) and the different production techniques, since the 15th century. According to Inês, “in Lisbon, there is a lot of 19th century, some 18th century and less 17th century, because of the earthquake. And it’s interesting that people have always been interested in azulejo, it guides you in architecture and goes beyond decorative art.”
São Vicente de Fora church
Largo de São Vicente \\\ patriarcado-lisboa.pt
“The largest collection of Baroque tiles,” says Inês, from its initial period to Rococo. The views from the terrace are breath-taking. “Everyone should come here,” she says, “the more you encourage an emotional relationship with heritage, the more you want to preserve it.” The House of Braganza pantheon from 1855 is also remarkable. In the courtyard, we pass an excursion: “We don’t do that [in the XN programmes]”, jokes Rosa.
Casa dell’Arte Club House
Campo de Santa Clara, 125 \\\ +351 21 886 0582 \\\ casadellartelisbon.com
In the heart of the Feira da Ladra flea market resides one of the city’s most beautiful, tile-lined palatial building, from 1783. Inside, the tiles are from the late-18th century, while the ones on the façade date back to the second half of the 19th century. Nowadays, the building is a hotel. The lobby is a blue and white marvel, alongside the art collection belonging to the owner, the Büyükkusoglu family.
Largo do Intendente
Largo do Intendente Pina Manique, 25 \\\ +351 21 231 4274 \\\ viuvalamego.com
The Viúva Lamego shop has “an amazing façade”, says Inês, “by the painter Ferreira das Tabuletas, considered to be a masterpiece of 19th-century naïf azulejo”. Built between 1849 and 1865, where António da Costa Lamego would open a pottery workshop, which would eventually become a factory. “Here, I would surprise the people with us”, Rosa interrupts, ever-attentive to small details. “Why not make a reservation in a seafood restaurant nearby, like Ramiro or Zé da Mouraria?”
Parque das Nações
Rotunda Expo 98 \\\ portaldasnacoes.pt
“The rebuilding of east Lisbon due to the 1998 World Expo meant experimenting with tiles that demonstrated their various uses, durability and adaptability”, explains Inês. Pedro Cabrita Reis, for example, has his work on a roundabout and viaduct, “using the simplicity of white and black industrial tiles”.
São Roque church
Largo Trindade Coelho \\\ museu-saoroque.com
Inês believes this temple to be a key part of the itinerary. “One of the great buyers in the 16th and 17th century was the Church, and this boosted domestic production, which kept pace with innovations in Italy and Holland.” At the entrance and next to the main altar, there are “diamond point” tiles from Seville’sTriana school; Mannerist panels with scene from Saint Roch’s life in the chapel. “Then we can go to the Pastelaria São Roque pastry shop and café”, which has beautiful tiles depicting dragonflies, says Rosa.
by Patrícia Barnabé
web design & development 262media.com