fr / en
The azulejos that now cover the facades of Lisbon are a waterproof and fireproof material that only spread on the exterior walls after the large destruction of the city by the triple disaster (earthquake, fire and tsunami) in 1755 as one of the first measures taken against the hazards in the age of Enlightenment in Europe with the wake of a new scientific approach taking precedence over the religious interpretations and actions.
The earthenware tiles, fire clay painted in colors of flames, are placed here in such a way that the patterns are distorted, shaping a crumpling, cracking in the wall like that in the earth's crust after an earthquake. This model of azulejos that we can see nowadays in some streets of Lisbon dates from the 19th century, when a properly Portuguese creation of azulejos was developed (it was until then mainly imported from Spain) and semi-industrialized: the repeated patterns spreading over the facades of the city, with their tiles of 14 by 14 cm giving the basic unit to embrace the dimension of the walls. If the initial pattern draws a regular grid on the facades, here the swiveling of some of the tiles forms a wave, projecting on the block of azulejos like one of those diagrams used in geology to represent the propagation of seismic waves through the ground.