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Fishink in Lisbon Part 1 Portuguese pattern and Ceramics

January 25, 2016

Fishinkblog 9801 Lisbon 2

I was away last week, enjoying a sunny, well-needed out-of-season break to Lisbon. What a fabulous city! Quirky, artistic, smothered in ceramics and pattern and great little hidden gems. I’d like to share my experiences with you over the next few posts, so sit back, put your feet up and enjoy the ride : )  I’d booked a nice little Airbnb apartment in the centre of an area called Graça, here’s the place and street below, with a lemon tree in the back garden and a host of great little shops just around the corner.

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Everywhere you go there are tiles and ceramics on the walls. It’s literally impossible to wander anywhere and not see evidence of some fancy wall-hung decorative pottery. I also loved the old store signage, such beautiful fonts.

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I couldn’t get over how much decoration and texture one city could own, a delight for a textile designer and illustrator like myself.

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There is an 18th-century church, Igreja da Graça with a beautiful terrace overlooking the city. It’s a popular hangout for young groups, thanks to its kiosk café and fantastic views that go from the castle down to the river. From a variety of view points you can see out over the city and onto the Tagus River (Rio Tejo). Graffiti also pops out from the city walls every now and then.

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Inside the church there are some quite creepy and dark stations of the cross, contrasted by ornate and decorative painting and mouldings on the ceiling and walls with unusually pink and yellow frescos.

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Wonderful to see such a range of designs on the tiles and a real mix of styles and periods too.

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This sunny vista was just around the corner from the statue of Saint Vincent of Saragossa, Lisbon’s patron saint located at one of the most famous view of the city – Portas do Sol Belvedere. He is holding a boat with two Ravens, the symbols of Lisbon.

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Just down from the statue , near the Se Cathedral, is this beautiful shop called Azulejo. The term azulejo comes from the Arabic word az-zulayj, meaning “polished stone.” The company called themselves ‘Handmade by Us’ and although they don’t appear to have a website, they did have three different shops in Lisbon alone. I loved (and purchased) one of their ceramic fish.. which is another symbol of Portugal. The lovely bird is destined for a friend’s 50th later this year, so Gill if you’re reading… look away now lol

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More news on Lisbon to come for the next 5 weeks. Do check back for the updates and I hope you’ve enjoyed my travels so far.

Can I remind you that today is the last chance to vote for your most favourite Blogpost so please click here today.

Many thanks, it really all helps : )

13 Comments leave one →
  1. January 25, 2016 11:24 am

    Wow, Lisbon looks fabulous!!! And so pretty!! I love the mosaic and tile work which adds such colour and delicacy to the city too. Its definitely going on my wish list, thanks for the inspiration!!

    • January 25, 2016 2:26 pm

      No problem at all. I think you would really like it too… apart, perhaps, from all the hills!!

  2. January 25, 2016 3:42 pm

    Stuck in the house with 3 feet of snow this was just the sunny pick me up I needed. Looks like a beautiful place.

    • January 25, 2016 5:32 pm

      Aww thanks Joanie, hope you’re not too cut off from the world. More sunny Lisbon to come next week, but hope your snow has drifted before then : )

  3. January 25, 2016 5:17 pm

    Love the sunshine…. looks like a great vacation. I especially like the peacock.

    • January 25, 2016 5:31 pm

      Thanks Joy, it was a great break… more to come watch this space. Peacock one of my fav’s too

  4. February 1, 2016 12:02 am

    Nice photos – remind me of when I lived in Mexico. Brought back some good ole memories! I have never been to Lisbon, but from what I see from the photos – they both have some similarities (especially the use of ceramic EVERYWHERE).

    • February 1, 2016 8:28 am

      Thanks Antonio, well I’ve never been to Mexico so the ceramics angle is certainly a good starting point lol More from Lisbon to come in the next few weeks , hope you enjoy those too : )

  5. Ricardo Pessoa permalink
    February 8, 2016 6:44 pm

    Thank you for doing justice to my city. Do you mind if I share this on Facebook?

    • February 9, 2016 9:39 am

      Not at all Ricardo, I appreciate you asking. Two more posts to come on Lisbon too, 5 in total : )

      • Ricardo Pessoa permalink
        February 10, 2016 3:53 pm

        Cheers. I look forward to reading them…

      • February 10, 2016 4:53 pm

        : ) Great to hear

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