This Official Postcrossing card came to me from Portugal! I felt the need to handle this card very delicately – this one features the azulejo tiles of the country it was sent from! If you were to visit a city in Portugal, you may come across these tiles that adorn the walls of residential buildings, churches, restaurants, public transportation stations and palaces. These ceramic tiles have origins dating back to the 13th century, where the Moors (from the Middle East) introduced them to the area which modern-day Spain and Portugal occupy. At this point, the designs on these tiles were very basic geometric shapes, and the tiles themselves served purely as decoration (rather than as an actual artform, which is what it later turned into). The early 1500s is when Portugal’s love for azulejos really started, In 1503, King Manuel I of Portugal visited Seville, Spain (one of the earliest producers of this tile in Europe), and he just went head over heels for this stuff. That’s when the Portuguese style really kicked in, as those simple geometric patterns I mentioned earlier turned into much more intricate pieces of artwork! And what to do with all these tiles that are being produced? There’s this visual art term known as “horror vacui”, which means “fear of empty space”. I’m sure you see where I’m getting’ at with this, ‘cause y’all are too smart 😛 Yes, the adoption of that tradition led to these tiles being placed on walls left and right! They’re everywhere! So if you’re ever in a Portuguese city (or even some villages), take a moment to admire the splendor of azulejos, as I’m sure you’ll see them within a short radius of where you’re standing! Hmm, while I love this card to bits, I think the horror vacui is starting to set within me. I’m gonna have to bug the sender for more and more of these cards ‘til I can’t see the white of my living room walls. That’s why my name is Tyler… in other words, I’m a “tiler”. Hehe. Thank you so much for this super cool postcard, Daniela!