The Madre de Deus Convent is situated in Xabregas, on the western area of Lisboa. The Convent was built in 1509, at the orders of the Queen Dona Leonor, and houses nowadays the much interesting National Azulejo (Glazed Tile) Museum.
The initial construction of the 16th century got much destroyed with the big earthquake of 1755, yet the present building is an interesting combination 17th and 18th architecture and decoration motives.
The lovely Church presents an interesting Manueline Portal, nevertheless the Church nave dates from the 18th century, decorated with Baroque blue and white glazed tiles and golden carved wood.
The Convent also houses the lovely Arabic Chapel, with a beautiful mudejar ceiling.
The National Azulejo Museum represents the importance of this type of art in the culture, art and architecture of Portugal, that since early times recognized the utility and esthetical beauty of this privileged material, improving its technique of ancestral knowledge.
Founded in 1980, the Museum houses some of the most significant exemplars of national Azulejos since the 15th century until nowadays. The collection includes an historical description, along with technical and artistic evolution in Portugal.
The visit to the Museum includes the entire space of the convent, including the church, choir and cloisters.
The collection presents pieces of renowned artists such as Júlio Barradas, Maria Keil, Júlio Pomar, Cargaleiro, Querubim Lapa among many others that are exhibited next to historical and ancient works of art, like the panel with “The panoramic view of Lisboa” before the big earthquake of 1755, that forever changed the look of the town.
The Museum also promotes several activities, like the Artistic and Handicraft Techniques Exhibition, guided tours and azulejo painting workshops (scheduled in advance), as well as a specialized Library and a restaurant with a pleasant esplanade.