Swallows Everywhere! (Plus a Little Giveaway)

A Vida Portuguesa swallows

Let’s talk about those swallows you see when you go to Portugal. Gift shops are full of them, you can find ceramic swallows on restaurant walls, on the outside of Portuguese buildings, and – without fail – in every single gift shop. The displays can look sweet, or elegant, and other times they’re altogether breath-taking! But what exactly do these birds mean and why are they so popular in Portugal?

A Vida Portuguesa Claus andorinhas

It all started in 1891 when Rafael Bordallo Pinheiro designed the first ceramic andorinha (swallow in Portuguese), at his famous ceramic factory. It quickly became a best seller and, in the last 125 years, has become one of the brand’s most iconic images, as well as a symbol for Portuguese life. Whilst some choose to place them in their kitchens (the heart of the home), others add them to their living rooms, or even outside walls. Nowadays, you’ll come across these andorinhas just about anywhere – possibly even at your hotel when you go to Portugal.


Pousada de Cascais

Pousada de Cascais (Photo c/o

So why did these birds become so popular? Aside from their aesthetic beauty, they are packed with symbolism. Did you know that swallows only have one mate during their lives? As well as being faithful to their mates, these migratory birds are also faithful to their homes. After their long journeys, they return each year to the same location to nest. Because of these habit, they’ve come to represent home, love, family, loyalty and fidelity. Is it any wonder why they’re so popular in Portuguese homes?

If anything, their popularity has only increased in recent years, as a whole new generation has completely embraced them. Nowadays, you can find ceramic or clay swallows in all sizes and colors (even patterns) to match your decor, making it easier to incorporate them into all sorts of homes.

Bastardo andorinhas

Whilst I have plenty of Portuguese items in my American home, I can’t seem to ever get enough! Unfortunately, I rent, and making holes in walls always pains me a little bit. But I really wanted to have some Portuguese swallows on my walls. So I designed my own andorinhas and had them made into decals so I could stick them to a wall and not worry about making holes or damaging the paint. What do you think of the result? If you love it, keep reading!


Swallows decals

My lovely creations, with Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro giving his approval


Andorinhas decals

Even close up, they look painted

Of course, I couldn’t make some swallows for myself without making another set for one lucky reader! If you’re interested in winning nine, low-tack swallows (in six unique designs), please like and follow A Portuguese Affair’s Facebook page and let me know you’d like to enter by simply commenting on the post. You can comment anything you like, so long as it includes the word “Andorinhas”; the most creative answer wins!

To enter you must:
1. Like and follow A Portuguese Affair’s Facebook page.
2. In the Facebook post for this blog post, comment anything you like using the word “Andorinhas”. The most creative answer as chosen by the panel of judges wins.

Winner will be chosen by a panel of judges and announced on this page and on A Portuguese Affair’s Facebook page. The Contest is open to legal residents of the United States and Canada, where not prohibited by law, who are eighteen (18) years of age or older at the time of entry. Contest will be open from March 27th, 2017 and will close on April 3rd, 2017 at 5 pm (EST). The winner will be announced on or about April 4th, 2017 on this page and on A Portuguese Affair’s Facebook page. Announcement and instructions for prize will be sent by private message/email to the winner within five (5) days of winner announcement. Each entrant is responsible for monitoring his/her private messages for prize notification. If a potential prize winner cannot be reached within fifteen (15) days, or if the prize is returned as undeliverable, that potential prize winner shall forfeit the prize. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. By entering, Entrants agree to a complete release of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. By entering, Entrants agree to a complete release of A Portuguese Affair in regards to any damage that may arise from adhering the decals to the walls.

Previous Story
Next Story

You Might Also Like

  • Felicia coito
    March 27, 2017 at 5:56 pm

    Hi I used to live in Lisbon and purchased some ceramic andorinhas before leaving! They made it all the way to California and the movers broke them! I’d love to win your gorgeous design!!

    • aportugueseaffair
      March 27, 2017 at 5:59 pm

      That’s awful! I probably would’ve cried! To enter, like and follow the Facebook page and comment there as well. Good luck Felicia!

    March 27, 2017 at 8:09 pm

    🇵🇹 Não à nada como a beleza de andorinhas na parede principalmente na minha casa em Rhode Island

    • aportugueseaffair
      March 27, 2017 at 8:11 pm

      Gostei muito! 🙂 Não se esqueça de seguir a página no Facebook! Boa sorte!

    %d bloggers like this: