While visiting a church or cathedral in Portugal, visitors should pay as much attention to the alters as the interior and exterior walls. Many are decorated in azulejos. Birds and leaves were frequently symbols used as decoration, possibly inspired by Asian fabrics.
During the last couple of centuries, the use of azulejos exploded. Today, it is common to see them adorning churches, monasteries, restaurants, bars, railway and subway stations, palaces, and regular homes. They are also used extensively in interior decoration.