Maybe a blog about doors isn’t what you would normally expect to see, but I think doors are fascinating. Growing up, our council house was much the same as every other council house on the estate, but for one major difference, it had a yellow front door! Our house stood out amongst the white and black doors, the yellow door shone like a beacon directing me home after a day playing out or indeed, a night playing out. Thinking about it, I think that’s the reason my favourite colour is yellow.
Throughout my married life, I have had a few houses, together with a selction of front doors, most were non-descript, but today, I have a new front door, a navy blue one! My house is complete!
When you think about it, there are lots of important front doors, whether they be famous or fictional, so as I love a list, here’s my top five front doors…..
10, Downing Street
This is probably the most famous door in England, maybe even the world. An interesting fact is that it hasn’t always been black, in the early 20th century it was painted green.
There are two identical doors which are swapped over whenever there is some maintenance to be done on them. The lion’s head doorknocker and brass letterbox date back to the 1770s.
The Holy Door of St. Peter Basilica
This Holy Door in Vatican City is unlocked by the Pope only once every 25 years to celebrate the Catholic church’s holy years (like the Great Jubilee in 2000). These bronze and sacred gates have graced the famous destination since 1949, decorated with scenes of man’s sins. The door is sealed from the inside with a brick wall to prevent entry. It was designed by Vico Consorti and cast by the Ferdinando Marinelli Artistic Foundry of Florence. When it is time to open it, the Pope strikes the brick wall with a silver hammer and the wall is then fully demolisted so that pilgrims can enter through it.
The Columbus Doors
These doors are situated at the entrance to the Rotunda in the US Capitol Building in Washington DC. It stands at nearly 17 ft tall and weighs at 0ver 20,000 pounds. They were created by Randloph Rogers and are remiscent of Lorenzo Ghiberti’s work of The Gates of Paradise in Florence. The pictures are based on the narrative of The Life and Voyages of Christoher Columbus.
Sherlock Holmes – 221B Baker Street, London
This is the front door to perhaps the most insightful and clever detective of all time: Sherlock Holmes.
Technically, this front door belonged to Mrs Hudson, as Sherlock lived in the flat upstairs, which he shared with Dr. Watson for many years, before Dr. Watson was married.
The door is actually the entrance to the Sherlock Holmes Museum in Baker Street.
“In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a Hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.“
The entrance to Bilbo Baggins’ hobbit hole, Bag End, in JRR Tolkein’s epic novel The Lord of the Rings. Tolkein took the name from a real-life farmhouse in Dormston, England, where his aunt lived.
This is an honourable mention because it is the back of a door – of course, the door in Friends, which had the iconic picture frame around the peep hole.
Not technically a door, but a gate to perhaps one of the most famous theme parks ever!
Again, not a door, but an entrance and it’s the entrance to the happiest place on Earth!
For those of you who are especially eagle-eyed, you will have noticed that the feature image for this blog is the “Doors of Dublin”. The story is that the famous writer, George Moore, lived next door to another famous writer, Oliver St John Gogarty. Their front doors were both painted the same neutral colour and so to discourage a drunken Gogary from mistakenly trying to enter his house, Moore painted his door green. Obviously thinking this was a good idea, Gogarty followed suit and painted his front door red. This then snowballed until Dublin was filled with different coloured front doors. The Irish Tourism Board created a collage out of all the doors and there were so many requests that a poster was commissioned, which has since become an icon of Ireland!