You simply can’t miss it: this narrow street in downtown Funchal is incredibly colorful. I’m talking about Rua de Santa Maria, in old town Funchal (Zona Velha). The many restaurants and terrace umbrella aren’t what gives this street such a colorful appearance. It’s the Painted Doors Project. You’ll have a hard time finding an ordinary, brown, wooden door here. Why? Because all the doors in this street have been turned into artwork.

Painted Doors Project Funchal 


Up until 2010, Rua de Santa Maria was an old cobbled street like many others. You’ve probably seen many during travels to Mediterranean destinations: an old, forgotten street with many abandoned buildings.

In comes photographer José Maria Zyberchem. He wanted to bring this historic street back to life and make it a center of art, alive and spirited. Therefore he started the Painted Doors Project. Many local artists started painting the old doors in the street. The talented artists were to ‘make something nice’ of these ordinary doors. More and more artists signed up to be part of the project and revive the area door by door. The result is impressive. At the moment there are about 200 painted doors in Rua de Santa Maria and the surrounding streets. And the goal of bringing back life to this area? Definitely accomplished!

The Painted Doors Project has not only returned (literal) color to this area. Many new restaurants have opened since, and even art galleries have made Rua de Santa Maria their base. The street has now become an attraction in itself, rather then only the access road to another destination. A public art gallery, for all to see.

Painted Doors Project FunchalPainted Doors Project FunchalPainted Doors Project FunchalPainted Doors Project FunchalPainted Doors Project FunchalPainted Doors Project Funchal


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