Azulejos are an integral part of Madeira. King Manuel I was enthusiastic about art and introduced Mudéjar - Azulejos from Southern Spain to Madeira around the year 1500. The Moorish craftsmen put individual differently colored stones together to form patterns to avoid the color bleeding - hence the term "Azulejo = small stone. The king himself also ordered the sparkling tiles for the tower of Funchal Cathedral. Madeira never had its own production, so all azulejos from Lisbon or Porto would be delivered.
At the beginning of the 20th century, depictions of traditional everyday scenes were popular. Frequently, old flower, birds and ship motifs were processed. Wall-filling tile carpets decorated house walls, interiors of churches or devotional images for house facades. At Café Ritz in Funchal, in the Mercado dos Lavradores and in many other places of the city are still some to admire. A comprehensive overview of Azulejo art can be seen at the Jardim Tropical Monte Palace. The Frederico Freitas Museum in Funchal also displays valuable azulejos from eight centuries and different countries.