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Photo of the Week: Tile Murals at Pinhão Train Station

Clocks and Murals at Pinhão Train Station

The platform at Pinhão train station in the heart of the Douro Valley.

The first day of our post-TBU-conference trip certainly lived up to its name. The ‘Grapes and Sailors’ trip took us sailing up the Douro River, whose green waters wind between terraced hills covered in port wine vineyards.

The town where we boarded our boat, Pinhão, is considered by many to be the heart of the region and it has a train station that is certainly worthy of the town’s status. In fact, it is one of the most famous train stations in Portugal, mainly because of its 24 stunning murals of daily life in the Douro Valley.

These murals are made of azulejos, the beautiful blue-and-white glazed tiles that can be found across the country. I learned in Porto that these tiles actually have a very practical purpose — they are used as insulation to keep houses cool during sweltering summers. While they may have helped keep the station cool during 40C+ summer days, I believe their main purpose was for decoration (and to provide a bit of a historical record of life in the vineyards of the region). They were certainly fascinating and I could have spent much more time than I had available looking at the finer details of each of the scenes.

Here are a few other shots of the tile murals in Pinhão:

Pinhão Train StationRabelo Mural at Pinhão Train StationIn Front of Pinhão Train StationMural at Pinhão Train Station

I visited Pinhão Train Station as a guest of Turismo Portugal, but all opinions written here are my own. Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to put together our post-conference trips!

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2 Responses to Photo of the Week: Tile Murals at Pinhão Train Station

  1. Deb October 30, 2012 at 7:10 pm Reply

    Wow, I saw the pictures in Google Reader and got an immediate flashback to when I was in Portugal (mid 1990s). I loved the amazing tiles… though didn’t appreciate them as much as I should have while playing tourist!


    • Kristin November 10, 2012 at 3:54 pm Reply

      That’s awesome that this post made you flashback to your own travels Deb! The tiles really are amazing, but I agree that I probably didn’t appreciate them as much as I should have. Everything in Portugal and Spain seemed to pass by in a blur because I was always on the move to somewhere! That’s why I kind of like going back to places I’ve already visited because now that I’ve had a whirlwind visit through, I know exactly what I want to go back and see more of.

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