Portuguese azulejo animal

Photo Essay: Unique animals featured on Portuguese tiles

Travel to any town or city in Portugal and you’ll come across some amazing azulejos – hand-painted tiles featuring anything from religious scenes to battles, rural life to iconic buildings, royalty to peasants. Bearing in mind that many of the blue paintings were done in the 18th and 19th century, perhaps it’s understandable that they aren’t all artistically accurate. At least not when it comes to painting animals.

Here are a few unique animals I found on the walls of the famous Antiga Confeitaria de Belém café in Lisbon.

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Take a close look at any of the azulejos you see as you travel around Portugal and you’ll find plenty of other amusing and unique animals.

Have you got a favourite among these unique azulejo animals? Please leave a comment and let me know which one.

You can find more uniqueness at the Weekly Photo Challenge.


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  1. Julie, you are doing an amazing job! Your tasteful and thoughtful clips of every-day life in Portugal are so endearingly refreshing. Thank you so much.

    1. Thank YOU for taking the time and trouble to say so. I really appreciate feedback like this – it helps to know that people enjoy what I put out there.

  2. You found all these in one place! Great!

    1. Author

      Yes, the waiters must have thought I was mad, crouching down to take all these pictures while trying not to get in their way.

  3. Quite a few of them look like combinations of two or three animals! They remind me of the early, black and white Disney characters.

    1. Author

      I see what you mean about the cartoon-like appearance. Ever since I first spotted one of these weird animal combos, I’ve kept an eye out for them as they never fail to make me chuckle.

    1. Author

      Thanks! I’m torn between the rabbit duck and the lion monkey myself 🙂

Over to you. Please share your thoughts in a comment.