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Dives-sur-Mer, France

La Maison Bleue

Personal garden filled with mosaics made of recycled garbage. 

Euclides da Costa came to France from Portugal looking to find work and start a new life. Unfortunately, da Costa’s working years were cut short by a bout with tuberculosis. Suffering from the illness he was unable to work and left with a void in his life. Luckily for the rest of the world, da Costa filled his void by creating Le Maison Bleue, an amazing tiled world, designed by an unexpected artist.

In 1957, da Costa was only 55, and terribly sick from tuberculosis. After having settled in Dives-sur-Mer, he turned his inner struggle into his art. Originally trained as a mason, he had the skills to make something wonderful, and began creating the Blue House.

Da Costa began his project in small field near his property, slowly expanding it over the next 27 years until his death. Using pieces of glass, tile and china that he found in a landfill, he created his first mosaics, and a few small monuments. Maintaining a religious theme throughout, da Costa also built a small personal chapel, complete with a nave and an altar. After he died, his finished work was considered a masterpiece and was listed as a historical monument in 1991.

In March 2011, a restoration project began to maintain da Costa’s Blue House, and his legaacy.