June 21, 2020

Tiles lost forever

This post is a warning about buildings that are losing their centenary tiles in Porto

Although tiled buildings in Portugal are one of the world’s most valuable heritages, they have only been protected by law since 2017 (n.º 79/2017). Many of these tiles have been destroyed and continue to be so today.

We need your help to expose more cases like these. If you know of any building in Porto that has lost its tiles contact us here.


1. Rua de Miguel Bombarda 10-20, Porto

The building was built before 1824 and initially had no tiles. These were placed at the beginning of the 20th century, being produced in Fábrica Cerâmica do Carvalhinho.

Information about the building on the Portuguese Cultural Heritage website, where it’s indicated as a building “without legal protection”.

Before
Detail of the removed tiles
After / Credit Predibisa
Detail of the new tiles

2. Rua do Monsenhor Manuel Marinho 24, Porto

Quite unique tiles, probably from the 19th century, painted using templates and with hand-painted details. They were all destroyed and replaced by replicas.

We reported the situation to SOS Azulejo who managed to clarify the reason for the removal of tiles. The remodeling license was given months before the approval of the law that protects tiled facades (n.º 79/2017), so it was legal.

Before / Credit Google
Detail of the removed tiles
Original tiles destroyed / Credit ?
After
Detail of the new replicas

3. Rua Pinto Bessa 498, Porto

This house, “Casa Manuel de Miranda Castro”, despite being abandoned, was a great example of the styles Art Nouveau and the traditional Portuguese combined in architecture.

It was designed by the architect Francisco de Oliveira Ferreira in 1913, who added some beautiful tiles to decorate the building.

The more remarkable, a panel of hand painted tiles with a very characteristic Art Nouveau style saying the year when the house was finished, 1914.

Now all is lost forever to build an apartment building in its place. A big and sad loss for the city and its heritage.

Before / Credit Jorge Ricardo Pinto
Detail of the removed panel / Credit Eduardo Reis
After
Detail of the demolition / Credit Pedro Paiva

4. Rua de São Brás 62, Porto

Thanks to Francisco Queiroz for finding this case.

Before / Credit Google
Detail of the removed tiles / Credit Francisco Queiroz

After / Credit Francisco Queiroz

5. Rua das Flores 79-83, Porto

This building, the Sousa de Arronches e Silva family house, is in the Historic Center of Porto, classified by UNESCO.

“The entire Historic Centre of Oporto is classified as a National Monument under Law No. 107/2001 of 8 September.”

All the tiles have been removed to paint the facade white.

Before / Credit Google
Detail of the removed tiles in 1933 / Credit AMP

After / Credit Predibisa
The facade covered with the removed tiles in 1943 / Credit AMP


6. Rua da Firmeza 107, Porto

The tiles were in very good condition. They were probably produced in the Fábrica de Cerâmica e de Fundição das Devesas.

Before / Credit Google
Detail of the removed tiles / Credit Google
After
Example of the same pattern

7. Rua de Santo Ildefonso 233, Porto

Before / Credit Google
Detail of the removed tiles / Credit Google
After
Example of the same pattern

8. Rua de Dom Jõao IV 46, Porto

All the original tiles were removed and replaced by replicas.

Some of the original tiles were in good condition. They could have been cleaned and preserved and replicas made of the missing or deteriorated ones.

Before / Credit Google
Detail of the removed tiles
After
Detail of the removed tiles

9. Praça Dona Filipa de Lencastre 162, Porto

The tiles were removed replaced with stone.

Before / Credit Google
Detail of the removed tiles / Credit Google

After / Credit Francisco Queiroz
Example of the same pattern

10. Rua de Diogo Botelho 588, Porto

Before / Credit Alerta – Aldoar, Foz do Douro e Nevogilde (Facebook)
Detail of the removed tiles
After / Credit Alerta – Aldoar, Foz do Douro e Nevogilde (Facebook)

11. Rua da Conceição 64, Porto

Before / Credit Google
Detail of the removed tiles / Credit Google
After
Detail of the new tiles / Credit ? Facebook

12. Rua do Monte dos Judeus 19, Porto

We reported this situation to SOS Azulejo, who contacted the city of Porto without receiving a response to clarify what happened.

Before / Credit Google
Detail of the removed tiles / Credit Google
Photograph from 1939 where the building with the original tiles can be seen on the right / Credit AMP
After / Credit Tovisi
Detail of the new replicas / Credit Tovisi

13.  Rua Saraiva de Carvalho 1, Porto

The historical center of Porto is classified by UNESCO (under Law No. 107/2001 of 8 September). This building is part of it. All the 19th century tiles that were covering its facade have been totally destroyed and they are on the floor like garbage. We already reported the situation to SOS Azulejo. As they were in the upper floors, we didn’t get the chance to photograph them for our catalogue. We’ll try to digitally create a complete image of the tiles with the pieces that we rescued

Tiled facade at the beginning of 2020 / Credit Google
Proof they were destroyed
Facade without the tiles in June 2020
Some pieces rescued

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