The oddly charming drainpipes of Valencia

Spain

Mooching round Valencia old town, you may notice at roughly eye-height, little faces adorning the drainpipes. Quite what they’re for is in dispute: they may be the logos of local metalworks from the late nineteenth to early twentieth centuries, or they may be some kind of local tradition connected with warding off evil spirits. A few are fairly new, but mostly, they’re beginning to vanish as old and rusting fixtures and fittings disappear. It’s a shame, because these are charming: if a little odd.

For Becky’s Square Odds.

And Marsha’s Photographing Public Art Challenge #36

54 thoughts on “The oddly charming drainpipes of Valencia

  1. What an adorable way to dress up something so utilitarian. I hope those days are returning. Europe has always been so much better at that than the United States. I love the one with yellow eyes. What’s up with that? Did someone come along and paint them? Are these gargoyles or reliefs. What do you think they are called? One of them looks like he’s had too much sun and developed skin cancer on his nose, poor fellow. So many of my California friends have developed that problem. Great post for PPAC. Lots of things to talk about! Thanks, Margaret!

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    1. I think Mr. Yellow Eyes is the subject of a graffiti artist! They’re reliefs, not gargoyles, and serve no practical purpose. And some of them have gone all crumbled and rusty. They’re fun, aren’t they?

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  2. I love it when photos capture an intriguing element that may have otherwise gone unnoticed. How many folks must have walked by those drainpipes without noticing the faces on them? How much emotion went into deciding on them and putting them together? Thank you for your eagle-eye in finding these delightful elements and sharing them!

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    1. There is an element of mass production here. That first large image in particular is easy to see many times once you’ve got your eye in. But they definitely brightened my time there.

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