The most visible part of the spectacular colonial heritage that earned São Luís the title of World Heritage Site are its ceramic tiles. Ceramic tiles were used in the past because they allowed for a better thermal insulation of the houses (São Luís is near the Equator, always hot and muggy) and because of its durability and easy maintenance. It rains in São Luís during six months, and common walls had to be rebuilt often.
Unfortunately, the sorry state of abandonment of the cultural heritage by the authorities theoretically responsible for its conservation means it is hard to find a piece of tile that is not broken, cracked or painted. One of the most outstanding exceptions is the front wall of the Pousada Colonial, covered in tiles with relief, as seen in the next picture.