20 Years From Now...

"20 YEARS FROM NOW," Mark Twain said, “you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than the ones you did.”THIS online journal is dedicated to our next 20 years!

Monday, 23 February 2015

Lagos Tiles

Lagos is a visual delight from its sidewalks to pedestrian only streets to painted wall tiles added to the exterior of buildings. All showcase the vibrant personality of this amazing community.

Town Center

Rarely will you see a repeat sidewalk design. It's as if the skilled people who created them were in a competition to surpass each other.

Modular designs
Optical Illusions

It's obvious some inspiration comes from setting. With the Atlantic Ocean visible on the other side of this tunnel the fish and swordfish motifs suggest a yin/yang relationship with the sea.


Running parallel to the promenade and marina is this subtle yet beautiful sidewalk. Which shape did you see first? Square or circle?


This grid pattern reminds me of a carpet one would find in a living room. It adds street appeal and makes the outdoor (and very red) cafe all the more inviting. 


The creator of this two-tone pattern may have caused a stir when it was first completed. At first glance there seems to be no rhyme or reason (or pattern) but a second look suggests a pulse of the vibrance of Lagos. The amber is also a perfect match for the fortified city wall at the end of the street.


Doesn't this design seem to pull you along, moving pedestrians in either one direction or the other?


Another instance of setting dictating the design are the numerous dolphins swimming in pairs around this fountain.

Dolphins & Fish

I'd hate to meet this octopus in real life, but on land he's pretty impressive!


Tiles often honour past residents or national heroes. This little park area is within the city walls about two blocks from our apartment. 

The triangular tile depicts a gentleman standing alongside his donkey cart.

A few streets away we spotted this home and its unusual shaped tile painting.

It's a guess as to whether it's a dedication to true love or a commemoration to the loss of a loved one...or perhaps both are just this writer's vivid imagination running wild!

Outside of the city walls are newer residential areas with impressive detached homes. Most are enclosed inside tall walls. To take this photo of the sailing ship I wedged my camera through the bars of the iron gate.

The wall surrounding this home was unique in that it's decorated with a series of murals - everything from simple and small...

To true works of art...

Outside of town this rural home had a lot going for it. The focal point of this southwest facing porch is its tiled sailing ship scene.

On the side of the building is a detail I absolutely love. No doubt these curly cues have a purpose, but visually they add so much to the appeal and character of the home. I tried to enlarge the tile centered between the windows, but could not. It depicts the Virgin Mary cradling the dead body of Jesus.

Returning to the town proper the Lagos Fortress (Forte da Ponta da Pandeira) includes a chapel that is covered in tiles from top to bottom.

The Church of St. Anthony, rebuild in 1769, and now a museum has many tiles on exhibit. 

Photos are not allowed inside but the entrance way showcases a number of impressive and decorative tiles.

Tiles are around every corner in Lagos. They adorn the outside of apartment buildings.

The front of homes...



As well as entrances to municipal and religious centres.

They provide the public with the name of a particular home.

Serve as advertisements for bars.

My favourite mural is located in the town square beside the post office. To get an idea of size each tile is 8" X 8". 

This mural on an apartment building not far from ours, however, comes a close second on my favourite list. It's a tribute to the builders and beauty of Lagos and seems a very fitting way to end this post.

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