Caldense Architecture Route

Caldense architecture route: Visit us!

The Caldense Architecture Route will take you through the city and its treasures

Rota da Arquitectura Caldense, Largo Dr. José Barbosa, Caldas da Rainha, Gocaldas, o teu Guia Turístico Local

The Caldense Architecture Route is an article on the art of Caldean architecture and will introduce you to another facet of our city and that you will certainly have attention after reading these lines, and you will also want to come to Caldas to see all of this with your own eyes.

It does not doubt anyone that Caldas da Rainha is a precious stone in its generality and that it results from small other treasures that, combined with each other, make our land a very unique place, with its own characteristics and identities.

The Reason for the Route

One of these singularities is a very particular architecture that is easy to identify with the naked eye and that you will certainly have the opportunity to confirm and agree with us when you visit us.

When we talk about architecture here, we are mainly referring to its component most focused on the decoration and ornamentation of the facades and not for structural issues themselves, although in some cases both coincide.

One thing is certain, anyone who passes through Caldas da Rainha is sure to have noticed several buildings whose façades are completely or partially covered with tiles, be they one or more colors, with or without reliefs, larger or smaller, with figurative patterns or abstract.

We cannot yet identify this architectural style as exclusive to Caldas, there are other places in Portugal that also have contemporary examples of these ... although without that special framework that only our city has.

More about the Route

On Rua de Camões is Pastelaria Machado, one of the oldest and most recognized in the city for its quality in making the most delicious typical delicacies of the city: cavacas and trouxas-de-ovo.

If you are a candy fanatic, Pastelaria Machado is your place to stop.

From the most traditional sweets such as cavacas or beijinhos to the most contemporary, be sure to try them all.

This pastry full of history owes its designation to its first owner Joaquim Machado, at the beginning of the 20th century, maintaining the designation until today.

There is also the curiosity of its facade to be filled with tiles by Manuel Gustavo Bordalo Pinheiro, son of the great master Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro, and which are a work of art that you should keep in mind.

It should also be noted that this pastry shop is located near Parque D. Carlos I and the Museum of Cycling, in one of the most emblematic streets of our city.

It is therefore the ideal place to rest and recover after a walk in Parque D. Carlos and is also the ideal place for the most ambitious and lovers of the best that the local pastry has to offer.

In Caldas, history and the palate always go hand in hand and are able to please all tastes.

The Balconies arount the Caldense Architecture Route

Because there are several buildings with tile covering as the main decorative element, our city is an authentic showcase of the different uses of tile in architecture.

The buildings in question have, for the most part, two or three floors, the ground floor being normally reserved for housing commercial establishments, a situation that as you will have the opportunity to confirm remains faithful after more than 100 years.

Another particularity is related to the economic availability of the building owner, which influenced the fact that the construction may have more or less decoration, not only in the type, color and shape of the tile, but above all in the combination of the tile with other elements that contribute to enrich the facades of buildings.

So you should be aware that in many cases in addition to the tiles there are still friezes, fences, bars to which are added the door and window stonework, which also vary from one building to the other.

In some cases there are also mansards, a creation of the French architect François Mansart, which correspond to windows placed on the roofs, and which allowed to take advantage of the attic of the buildings, increasing the divisions of the houses.

Also of French influence is the use of wrought iron which has become a central element in Art Nouveau in France and which in Portugal had here in our land one of the main places where it was applied.

There are even some buildings that do not have tiles on their façades, but they deserve a closer look at their decorations due to their richness and variety.

The Guide

Presented the framework of this treasure of our city, we will now leave you with some tips where to find the most beautiful examples of the Caldean architecture.

Depending on the number of copies, the suggestions presented here are just a sample of what you can find.

At the same time, they are another way of touring our city and making contact with our history, being able to intercalate this itinerary with other suggestions of tours and itineraries that we propose.

The circuit through streets, squares, squares that we suggest you is the following:

It starts at Rua de Camões, next to Parque D. Carlos I and in which you should pay attention to the buildings with the numbers 19 (with the inscription “18JR98”) and 41-47 (Pastelaria Machado), where in addition to the tiles the elements central are the mansards and the wrought iron in the windows. In the case of number 41-47, the tiles are attributed to Manuel Gustavo Bordalo Pinheiro, the same tiles from the beginning of the 20th century.

You also have the number 57 (Museum of Cycling), which keeping the tile as a central element has as a decorative complement the stone and artistic details in the stonework of the doors and windows.

Caldense Architecture Route - Praça da Fruta

ou should then go up to Largo Dr. José Barbosa and pay attention to numbers 14 and 19, two very different examples but with common characteristics, the use of tile in the facade cladding and the use of iron on the balconies. The tiles from the 14th are from the last decade of the 19th century and those from the 19th from the first of the 20th century.

Then go to Praça da República (Praça da Fruta) and where the focus should be the numbers 5-9 (Nova Padaria Tabuense), 14-19 (Antiga Zaira), 45-47 (Bocage), 80-84 (Clínica da Praça / Viva Pharma) and 94 (Joaquim Baptista Lda.). Of these, the number 5-9 is noteworthy for being created by Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro between 1889-1905, the 14-19 for being produced by the Sacavém Factory of the last decade of the 19th century, the 45-47 for being the oldest known, dating back in the year 1861, 80-84 for using patterned tiles and 94 for using a pattern in the placement of tiles that you will find in other places with other colors, and for having a frieze on the top of the facade above the side windows.

Also in Praça da República you should pay attention to the number 19, building of the parish council, built in the 18th century and the number 110 (Millennium), inaugurated in 1911 as the Calderan branch of Armazéns do Chiado.

From Praça da República you should go down to Rua General Queiroz and start by contemplating the numbers 77-85, which are three buildings in a row with their tile coverings in pattern tiles, but which also use iron and in the case of number 77 there is still one mansard and a balustrade at the top of the facade.

Towards the "Queen"

Still on Rua General Queiroz, continuing to descend, you should still stop at the numbers, 50 (White), 46 (Green) and 22 (Green in very bad condition). They stand out for the use of tiles, in the case of the 50 in the upper frieze by Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro, in the case of the 46 in the facade cladding with tiles from the Sacavém Factory and in the 22 with cladding tiles produced from the Faiança das Caldas Factory of the Queen.

Continue down Rua General Queiroz to Rainha and from there continue to Calçada 5 de Outubro (the second exit of the roundabout) that will take you to Praça 5 de Outubro and where the numbers 40 (Sabores d'Itália), 46 ( Blue) and 48 (Fabrics).

The number 40 stands out for the Art Nouveau frieze, as well as the combination of the frieze with the red tile covering and the balustrade in front of the mansard, in a building from the first decade of the 20th century.

The number 46 also has a frieze and tiles with Art Nouveau patterns from the Sacavém Factory, from the second decade of the 20th century,

Neighbor 48 uses the tile covering equal to number 22 on Rua General Queiroz, produced by the Faience Factory of Caldas da Rainha from 1884-1889.

Next to the latter, but already belonging to Travessa 5 de Outubro, the number 24, (former Luís do Talho) also deserves a close look, especially the upper frieze of the Sacavém Factory, from the first quarter of the 20th century.


Rua Heróis da Grande Guerra

Go through that 5 de Outubro street and when you reach Rua Heróis da Grande Guerra turn left and look for the number 79 where you can see another example that uses a similar pattern of tiles already seen in other buildings but with different colors.

Turn left again onto Rua Henrique Sales and you can immediately contemplate the number 2 and its green ground floor facade maintaining a pattern very similar to the building you just saw.

At the intersection of Rua Henrique Sales and Rua do Coronel Andrada Mendoça you have to observe the number 16 (Ourivesaria) with a beautiful façade of 1890 covered with blue tiles.

Rua Dr. Miguel Bombarda

Continue to follow Rua do Coronel Andrada Mendonça and you will arrive at its intersection with Rua Dr. Miguel Bombarda, which is the artery of the city with more examples of buildings with tiled facades.

You should keep your attention to numbers 32-36 (Benetton), 35-39 (Former Furniture Sparrow), 41-43 (Former Vidreira Simões), 45-47 (Red) and 53-57 (in poor condition).

In the case of the 32-36, the patterned tile covering of the Sacavém Factory stands out and the side bars of the tiled doors of the Façade Factory of Caldas da Rainha.

Everything for the facades

The 35-39, on the other hand, uses green pattern tiles and iron on the balconies, a feature that neighbor 41-43 also has, although in this case combined with blue, white and red pattern tiles, and also with a balustrade at the top and a mansard.

In the case of 45-47, the red tile covering with the use of iron on balconies and doors was privileged, as well as some adornments in the door and window frames.

Finally, at 53-57 the highlight is not the façade covered with tiles but the entire decoration of the building, despite its poor state of conservation and where the tile friezes, the use of iron on balconies and doors deserve mentioning. still some details in the door and window stonework.

With the exception of 41-43, the rest (35-39, 45-47 and 53-57) are outside the rules of using the ground floor as a commercial space, not being income buildings.

Once Rua Miguel Bombarda is finished, you must go through it in the opposite direction until its end, crossing with Rua Heróis da Grande Guerra, in which you must re-enter and turn left looking for the numbers 86 (Perfumery) and 90-96, both deserving highlighted by the beauty of the decoration of its facades, despite in any case without the use of tiles, with emphasis on the use of iron and the masonry of doors and windows.

Caldense Architecture Route - Near the Bus Station

In the latter, you should take the opportunity to turn right onto Rua Alexandre Herculano (or Rua do Jardim) and look for number 53 to see another example of the use of pattern tiles to cover the facade, in the case of the Sacavém Factory.

Going back a little further back to Rua Leão Azedo where the highlights are the numbers 22-26 (Red) and where the highlight is the use of the red tone tile.

In front of it, at Rua Leão Azedo, you should also take into account the Bus Terminal whose building is in itself a reason for attraction and whose project is by Ernesto Korrodi, from the mid-20th century.

At that intersection you should follow upwards through Rua Coronel Soeiro de Brito until the intersection with Rua Capitão Filipe de Sousa, the first intersection, and where you should pay attention to numbers 78-84 (to the left of the intersection) and 52 (facade only ) and 22 (narrow and blue) (to the right of the intersection).

The 78-84 stands out for the tile frieze on the ground floor and for the decoration of the door and window stonework.

The Sacavém Factory again highlighted

The number 52, which deals with the maintenance of the facade and reconstruction of the building's interior, is one of the best examples of our architecture, as it includes the tile covering, the friezes with floral motifs, in both cases of the Sacavém Factory from the years 20th century, but still includes the use of iron and some details in the door and window stonework.

Further ahead, the number 22 is a small masterpiece from the last decade of the 19th century, which privileges the use of the tile pattern, the stonework on the doors and windows and the iron on the balconies.

Continue along Rua Capitão Filipe de Sousa until you reach Largo Heróis de Naulila and where you should take into account the two green buildings, numbers 5 and 5A (Thomaz dos Santos), in which the tile of the first decade of the 20th century is the element main and, in the case of number 5, it is combined with the use of stone and with the stonework on the windows and doors.

Next to it, at number 17 (NovOptica) on Rua José Malhoa, it has a tiled floor covering from the 1970s on the ground floor and by Ferreira da Silva, one of the biggest names in Caldas ceramics in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Two important city landmarks (master Herculano Elias and master Bordalo Pinheiro)

A little further on, at number 13 (Óptica Ramiro) on the same street, you can find tile panels from 1970, by Herculano Elias, others from the legends of 20th century Caldense ceramics and the beginning of the 21st.

On the other side of the street, at number 8 (Cabeleireiro Forma), another building with green tile covering and which has a frieze above the window on the first floor, a frieze produced at the Faial Factory of Caldas da Rainha by Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro.

Rua das Montras

Go back a little and turn left to Travessa da Cova da Onça and go until the end until you reach Rua Almirante Cândido dos Reis or Rua das Montras and where you should pay attention to the numbers 31 (Photo Franco), the building that you see when coming down Travessa da Cova da Onça, where you can find blue tile flooring from 1890 on the first floor with details in the window stonework, while on the ground floor you find tiles by Ferreira da Silva.

In front of this number 34 (Seasons Fashion) also deserves a special look since it has 6 friezes of tiles from the last decade of the 19th century, as well as stone decoration and medallions in both upper corners of the ground floor, respectively dedicated to Bernard Palissy (left) and Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro (right).

At number 50-52 (A Romã), the tile covering, in this case in brownish tone, is highlighted again, with the use of iron on the windows and the mansards at the top.

The neighbor next door, number 54, stands out for its use of stone as the main decorative element to the detriment of the tile that has a smaller appearance, but no less interesting, on the frieze above the windows on the first floor.

The neighbor on the left, number 56, has a tile covering from the 60s of the 20th century on its ground floor, tiles by Herculano Elias.

In front of this number 45-51 (Monteiro Alcatifas), although it uses the same pattern of tile covering on the upper floors, some differences can be noticed in the two buildings, namely with no dividing strip between floors in the building on the left as well like the lack of bay windows / balconies in that same building.

Where everything crosses

Slightly further down, at number 98 (Pedemeia), you will find another example of the use of the facade cladding with pattern tiles, which is complemented with a frieze on top of the Fábrica das Devesas of the last decade of the 19th century

Finally, at this intersection with Rua Heróis da Grande Guerra you still have the number 107-111 (Neck & Neck) which is similar to the last building we talked about, it presents the facade covered with pattern tiles, with emphasis on the frieze in blue top and with the inscription of the year 1891, not forgetting the balustrade at the top and the use of iron on the balconies and on the top of the doors on the ground floor.

As you will certainly agree, there are not a few places where there is art in Caldas, being certain that they all have their own peculiarities and therefore you will not be able to see only a few and once the route starts, you will not be able to stop until you see the last one building.

We are even sure that you will notice other buildings not included in this route and that you will never visit Caldas again without looking at the various buildings that you will find ... is there a bet?


Gouveia, Margarida (1993), Crockery walls: tiles from the facade of Caldas da Rainha, Caldas da Rainha, Património Histórico-Grupo de estudos

Serra, João B. (1995), Introduction to the History of Caldas da Rainha, Caldas da Rainha, Património Histórico-Grupo de estudos

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