Link - by Avi Abrams

Some castles are painted by Disney, some by a Brazilian street art gang

We've written about murals on city buildings before, but why stop there? Why don't up the scale and the"wow" factor and turn an ancient castle into a fairy tale canvas? With no limits set to creativity, the results might end up to be as provoking as some Banksy street art masterpieces...

Of course, you'll have to find the abandoned castle first, and such real estate might be in short supply. In this case, the owners themselves commisioned a group of artists to spice up their humble abode... and they came up with -

...Bright Colors!

(image credit: Ben Cooper)

This is the Kelburn Castle in Scotland, close to a wonderfully-named Fairie village (Fairlie, actually) - see here - painted over by Brazillian street artists from Sao Paolo Nina and Nunca Os Gemeos (completed in June 2007):

(image credit: Agnes Frame)

This being a pretty romantic concept, "Painted Castles" end up in gothic romances and other inspiring fiction (see the book cover on the left, for example) - so the stately Kelburn castle (on the right) prepares to get the unusual art treatment:

The plans are made (not on the computer, it seems, but the good-old way):

And the final surreal product simply boggles the mind:

(image credit: Tim Kirman)

As you can see, Brazillian graffiti tradition is very vibrant, color-rich and transient / energetic. Taken out of its urban context, it illuminates the Scottish countryside with bold colors and shines through any rain-soaked misery the world can throw at it...

"Kelburn is thought to be the oldest castle in Scotland to have been continuously inhabited by the same family. The original Norman Keep, designed for defence rather than comfort, was probably built by 1200. The original Keep is now enclosed within a grander castle, completed in 1581." (source)

The street art coolness extends to the roof and chimneys:

(image via)

Here is the time-lapse video of how this castle got painted:


You think this idea is unique and bright colors (some say "thankfully") are confined only to this particular castle in Scotland? Think again, or rather look at this castle in Sintra, Portugal -

(images via)

Often considered the first expression of romanticism in castle architecture, this Palácio da Pena was built in 1839 on a steep hill (see how it almost floats in the clouds); Moorish, Gothic and Romantic influences can be traced in its highly fanciful shapes and colors:

(bottom right photo by Zita Kamugira)

Rather more modern example of a colorful castle in Dublin:

(image credit: Victor)

and in the Czech Republic, the Cesky Krumlov castle is full of colorful spires and unbridled architectural imagination:

(images credit: Omid Tavallai, Nathan Bergeron)

Proper lighting inside the castle can always bring out additional creepiness, or sophisticated artistry of the decor and various set pieces:

(image credit: Robert)

Sun-painted castle

Sometimes nature conspires to show us that some of the most spectacular things are still, well, natural. No painter's hand touched the castle in the next picture (Wawel Castle in Krakow, Poland), and yet the ancient walls are immersed in golden glory of a sunset, the color applied in a smooth, sublime way - but only for a few fleeting minutes...

(image credit: Kelly)

Also Read:
Castles That Will Inspire and Haunt You
Cool Murals and Painted Buildings
Best Graffiti Showcase

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Blogger John Kankley said...

I would love to see pics of the artists on scaffolding spray painting the Kelburn Castle.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

on the one hand, it's not right that they're doing this to historic structures like that... but on the other hand...it's freakin awesome!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"painted over by Brazillian street artists from Sao Paolo, Nina and Nunca Os Gemeos (completed in June 2007)"

Minor correction here...Nunca and Os Gemeos are 3 different people, Gemeos just always paint as a pair. Awesome story though..might have missed this otherwise

Blogger AnhHoaViet said...

Great artist with beautiful art castles.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

from stately castle to garbage in a few easy steps

Blogger Nuno Gomes Lopes said...

And the Brazilian town is "São Paulo", or, if you may, "Sao Paulo". Paolo is an Italian name, not Portuguese.

Take care!

Blogger zając said...

Very nice castles turned to colourful piece of sh..t !

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stone monolith > Tremendous work of human creativity? I don't think so

Blogger Lawrence said...

A much more "Authentic" experience would include having the street "Artists" SHOOT at any disapproving spectators! Looks great now, but the paint will probably wash off soon, in that rainy Scottish weather!

Blogger Radish said...

OMG, that's tragic. Surely there was an abandoned strip mall or another already worthless bit of property they could have destroyed instead.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The paintings looks great but historic buildings shouldnt be used for such.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

reminds me of a castle i visited in portugal.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

really stupid. hey - lets go graffitti up the pyramids, or the taj mahal, or other historical buildings, monuments.
And I am saying this as an artist.
I so agree with Zajac - it is a colorful piece of &&&&**^
Historical places should not be 'raped' by such things. Historical places should be preserved and treasured.
Graffiti should be left for the bus terminals, abandoned buildings, or designated fences and other projects, where it doesn't ruin the landscape and cover up beauty.

Blogger m said...

By the way, this was is no way the "rape" of a historical site. Read the story before judging. This is an art piece from respected artists.

"In 2007 experts told the owners of Kelburn Castle that its concrete facing would eventually need to be replaced to avoid further damage to the stonework. At the suggestion of his children, Lord Glasgow invited four Brazilian graffiti artists to paint the walls. Historic Scotland agreed to the project, on the basis that the graffiti would be removed when the castle was re-harled. (...) In August 2011 it was reported that the Earl had formally written to Historic Scotland asking permission to keep the graffiti as a permanent feature."


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