The word Baroque comes from the Portuguese "barroco," which means an imperfect pearl. Baroque is an architectural and decorative style that flourished throughout Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries, a time when Portugal enjoyed tremendous wealth from the discovery and exploitation of its mines in Brazil. Some say Baroque is the art of extravagance; others say it is the art of embellishment.
See for yourself during this tour to two of Lisbon's finest examples of Baroque art. The first is the Basilica da Estrela, whose impressive interior features marble of various colors on the walls and floors. It also houses the famous Christmas crib by Machado de Castro and the mausoleum of Queen Maria I.
The tour's second highlight is the Tile Museum contained in the former Madre de Deus Convent. Few countries have used tile as an art form to the same extent as Portugal. This unique museum shows how Portuguese tiles are made, and demonstrates their architectural versatility over five centuries, right up to the present. The museum's masterpiece is a long panel of tiles from the 1700s, depicting the city of Lisbon. The former convent was entirely redecorated in the 18th century, reflecting Portuguese Baroque art with through beautiful gilded carvings, azulejos, marble and precious Brazilian woods.
Before leaving the museum, enjoy some free time in the museum gift shop or just relax in the lovely gardens and the original café, complete with unusual kitchen tiles.