Housed in the Madre de Deus convent–itself a spectacular building–the Museum showcases the ancient artform of tin-glazed ceramic tiles. With a history of 500 years, the permanent collection, as well as special-themed exhibitions, explore the evolution, creation and display of the tiles that are a major aspect of traditional Portuguese architecture.
The former Madre de Deus convent was founded in 1509. Throughout the building, impressive architecture–including a chapel layered in gilt–paintings, tiles and wood carvings have been carefully preserved. Over the centuries, various monarchs added their own flourishes, leaving behind impressive examples of Renaissance, Baroque and Mannerist style.
In addition to its displays of individual decorative tiles as well as full-sized tiled murals, the museum offers an extensive explanation of the history and process of tile making. Workshops for all levels are offered that help visitors explore their creativity.