Sweet pastels and brightly patterned tiles line the vertical surfaces of Lisbon’s streets. Like clothing, the colours are worn to communicate personality, enliven the streets, tell a story about culture.
In my week visiting Lisbon I spent hours just wandering with a camera in hand, soaking in the joy of those coloured walls, learning the tales of the city. I arrived the week after the annual Lisbon Festival (June) and delighted in walking streets still decorated with rainbow streamers and frilly sculptures.
Unlike any other place I’ve visited, Lisbon has many buildings with tiled facades, known as azulejos. The oldest tile designs are the blue and white depictions, which are detailed and soft in comparison to the modern bold designs. The geometric patterned tiles are known as alicatado and are similar to those seen in mosques and Islamic palaces across the world.
Underfoot are shiny black and white paved waves and swirls traditional to Lisbon streets. Graffiti also plays a happy role on Lisbon street walls, with the local authority embracing the cultural movement and commissioning artworks across the city.
Here are some shots from my Lisbon wanderings.
In my next post, I’ll be sharing my favourite Lisbon experiences: fado at night, coffee and sardines, drinks in Barrio Alto, art in Belem, jazz in the park… so stay tuned!