Houses in Porto

On Monday morning we went to the airport in Rome very early because we were on our way to our new home for the next month: the city of Porto in Portugal. Porto is a coastal city in northwest Portugal and, with around 250,000 inhabitants, is the second largest city in Portugal after Lisbon. Christoph and I had heard from many of our friends how beautiful it was there and decided to spend a month in Porto and, as always, work from there.

On our way from the airport to the city center, we noticed the many small houses, each with a different, beautiful facade. The houses in downtown Porto are quite narrow, between three and four stories high and the facades are covered with colorful patterned tiles. The tiles come in a wide variety of colors and patterns: some are simple and geometric, some have the most detailed decorations. In terms of color you can see a lot of blue, but also yellow, green and turquoise. These tiled house facades are one reason Porto is such a beautiful city where you can walk for hours admiring the different tiles and houses. While private houses in the city are more likely to be covered with plain or patterned tiles, the facades of churches in Porto often feature complex images painted with blue paint on white tiles. These types of images painted on tiles are called “azulejos” and are common in many places in Spain and Portugal. In Porto itself you can spot some great examples of azulejos, for example on the facade of the “Igreja do Carmo” church or in the “Estação de Porto São Bento” train station.

My drawing here shows a street with typical houses with small tiles on the facade near our apartment in Porto.

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