The doors inviting you in

Painted doors in Funchal, Madeira

The doors inviting you in

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This is the website of travel writer, Michael Turtle. After working in broadcast journalism for a decade in Australia, Michael left Sydney to travel the world indefinitely and write about his discoveries.

Painted doors, Funchal, Madeira

Hmmm… there’s seems to be something a little odd about that door. Actually, you know what, there’s something a bit different about the next one as well. In fact, as I walk along the street, it seems every door is a little bit special.

I’m in a narrow street called Rua de Santa Maria (Santa Maria Street) in the capital of Madeira, Funchal. It’s not wide enough for cars and, even if it was, tables and chairs from the many restaurants and cafes are taking up most of the space. This is the old part of the city, not far from the water’s edge and it’s feeling the effects of age.

Painted doors in Funchal, Madeira

In an effort to revitalise the area, the local council has organised an art project in the street this year. And, as I discover quite quickly, it involves the doors of the buildings.

About 200 doors – into houses, restaurants, businesses, galleries – have been handed over to artists and designers who have been asked to ‘do something with them’. Their canvases invite people inside every day. The idea is to create a piece of work that invites people in to something deeper.

Painted doors in Funchal, Madeira

In many ways it has already succeeded in achieving its goal to revitalise the area. Not only is there more colour and energy but also visitors are slowing down and looking around more. The street is not just a thoroughfare or the location of somewhere to eat – it is now something to enjoy and savour in its own right.

Painted doors in Funchal, Madeira

I thought I would bring you a selection of the beautiful artwork on the doors. With about 200 that have been transformed, there are many more than this. But it gives you a taste. Do you have a favourite one?

Painted doors in Funchal, Madeira

Painted doors in Funchal, Madeira

Painted doors in Funchal, Madeira

Painted doors in Funchal, Madeira

Painted doors in Funchal, Madeira

Painted doors in Funchal, Madeira

Painted doors in Funchal, Madeira

Painted doors in Funchal, Madeira

Painted doors in Funchal, Madeira

Painted doors in Funchal, Madeira

Painted doors in Funchal, Madeira

Painted doors in Funchal, Madeira

Painted doors in Funchal, Madeira

Painted doors in Funchal, Madeira

Painted doors in Funchal, Madeira

Painted doors in Funchal, Madeira

Painted doors in Funchal, Madeira

Time Travel Turtle was a guest of Porto Bay Hotels and Resorts and Madeira Promotion Bureau but the opinions, over-written descriptions and bad jokes are his own.

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12 Comments
  • Alfredo Begazo | Apr 11, 2014 at 3:21 am

    First time at your site. These photos are rather interesting. And so is the looks of the site.
    Alfredo Begazo recently posted..The Pink Amazon River Dolphin may disappear within ten years in the AmazonMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Apr 23, 2014 at 11:14 pm

      Thanks Alfredo – I appreciate you stopping by! You’re welcome back whenever you want!! :)

  • Melissa | Apr 11, 2014 at 9:03 am

    This is such an amazing project! I would love to come home every day to a door that had a special artistic touch to it.
    Melissa recently posted..A Hidden Gem: Finding Marc Chagall in KentMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Apr 23, 2014 at 11:18 pm

      Do you think you could just get someone to come and do yours? Maybe it wouldn’t have the same effect… :)

  • Megan | Apr 11, 2014 at 9:39 am

    This is such a beautiful project! A really good example of how a little bit of love, or in this case, art, can transform an area. I love the second door – the men with the fish.
    Megan recently posted..The cost of travelling in SerbiaMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Apr 23, 2014 at 11:18 pm

      It’s also great that everyone got behind it and offered up their doors. I can imagine it would have been a bit scary at first but I’m sure they’re all very pleased now they’ve seen the results!

  • Mary@GreenGlobalTravel | Apr 14, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    Wow this is a really great idea! If revitalization was the aim then they most definitely have succeeded. These doors are beautiful.

    • Michael Turtle | Apr 23, 2014 at 11:31 pm

      Stunning, aren’t they? I can think of some other areas that could use an idea like this. It really brings a place back to life!

  • Lizzie @ Wanderarti | Apr 15, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    Love this project! What a beautifully simple way to revitalise a town.
    Lizzie @ Wanderarti recently posted..Mauritius Really is as Magical as it Looks, as Demonstrated by Roisin Cure’s PaintingsMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Apr 23, 2014 at 11:33 pm

      It is simple, isn’t it? I guess that’s one of the reasons it was so effective. Everyone was able to understand it and get on board!

  • Dan | Jun 5, 2014 at 10:59 am

    I think my favourite is the George Orwell inspired door
    Dan recently posted..Get The Party Started – Party Brazil Phrasebook GIVEAWAYMy Profile

  • Brenda vause | Jul 30, 2014 at 11:50 am

    Been to Maderia many timed but never seen these doors will certainly look out for them on my trip later this year, enjoyed the pictures very much.

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