Skip to main content

Art Under Your Feet


Every now and then, wandering around a city, I've spotted an interesting, even beautiful manhole cover. Yes, the everyday necessity that keeps us from falling into the utilities. In some places it's plain Jane—but as you can see here, it's sometimes a matter of civic pride or just plain art. The one above, from Stockholm, is a little of both.


Bergen, Norway puts its Bryggen waterfront on the covers

While putting this blog together, I only found a half dozen of my own (anyone who has walked with me and seen me suddenly pointing the camera at the street knows there are more!) but a little search online has turned up some beauties from places I haven't been yet. Have a look!

Norway has quite a few interesting ones here; these pictures are by one photographer who apparently shares my obsession with the covers. They are from Flekkefjord, Stavanger and Kristiansand.




Round or square, they serve the same purpose—usually. Here are a couple of squares, the first from Lisbon, and the second from Milan, where the photographer took the picture to record his painted effort at beautifying a (presumably) drab cover.


Next come two sturdy examples from Germany, the first from Anspach and the second from Bautzen. From what I saw in my research, Germany has either the largest number of really distinctive manhole covers...or the largest number of people pointing cameras down at them!



Moving a bit east from Germany, here's a Hungarian cover from the town of Pecs.


Here's one that could almost be a manhole cover but isn't—it's a mosaic in the forecourt of a church on the Greek island of Rhodes. Maybe it was the original inspiration for covers world-wide.


Not all that far from Rhodes, here's one from the harbor area of Tel Aviv, Israel.

1-Tel Aviv

And now, taking a change in direction to the Pacific, I found this one in Honolulu. Not very elaborate, but not very plain, either!


And now for three of the best, collected by photographers in Japan. The first is from Tokyo; the other two from Osaka.



1-Osaka that you know...keep your eyes out, and down—but don't trip into the street!

By the way...if you have any favorite manhole covers, post them here!


Images (16)
  • 1-1053px-Schachtdeckel_Ansbach
  • 1-1086px-Kanaldeckel_mit_Wappen_von_Bautzen
  • 1-aDSCN0127
  • 1-Bergen
  • 1-Flekkefjord
  • 1-greece
  • 1-honolulu
  • 1-Hungary_Pecs_2005_June_059
  • 1-Manhole_Cover
  • 1-Osaka
  • 1-Osaka2
  • 1-P1010668
  • 1-Schachtdeckel_Kristiansand
  • 1-Schachtdeckel_Stavanger
  • 1-Tel Aviv
  • 1-Tombino_108_Milano

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

Add Comment

Comments (1)

Newest · Oldest · Popular
Link copied to your clipboard.