The splendour of tile art is not only found in mainland Portugal but also in Madeira and the Azores Archipelagos, where beautiful examples from various eras and styles may still be found.
In Funchal, the oldest tiles dated between the end of the 16th and the beginning of the 17thcentury, may still be found in the convent of Santa Clara as well as those belonging to the old convent of Nossa Senhora da Piedade, which are kept in the museum of Quinta das Cruzes.
Other examples of old tiles in Funchal are those covering the bell tower of the cathedral.
The eighteenth century was undoubtedly the period when the art of decorative tiles reached its zenith! In Funchal, several convents and churches were completely covered or decorated with tiles depicting religious scenes such as those in the church of São Sebastião, in Câmara de Lobos, the chapel of the Quinta das Angústias (Vigia) or the chapel of Nossa Senhora da Nazaré in Funchal.
In the cathedral, the tiles of the chapel of Nossa Senhora do Amparo are an excellent example of quality. These tiles were manufactured in Lisbon and transported to Funchal in 1732.
The Jesuits Church is also a good example of the tile work of the same period.
Come have a look and enjoy your stay on the island ….
Jorge Falcato (Official Tourist Guide)
Photo Courtesy of Marla Castro