OK, OK! I know...I've been away from my blog for, well...TOO long!! I'm sorry!! I now spend far more time out of the city now than I do in it so somehow the doors are not only physically farther away from me, they are psychologically farther away. But that is no excuse!! Afterall, I have a huge collection of photos of doors so I'll just have to put myself to the task of presenting them to you!
As a 'coming back' door, I thought I would share one that I have always loved and admired. Too bad the photos really do it no justice not only as regards its detail, but as regards its size. These ladies are HUGE!! The only way to photograph this door properly is to be in the middle of the street, but between the middle of the street and this door, there are always parked cars. I have been by this door a multitude of times, each time photographing the door in a different way. Today's presentation is a result of those many visits to see the 'ladies'!!
As is perhaps clear to all of us, these doors are a wonderful example of Art Nouveau. Every detail down from the giant, gracious ladies that frame the door to the smalles details such as the door's handle plate show repeated examples of nature's influence on the designer. Leaves, flower and other natural forms are classic elements in the flowing designs of Art Nouveau, and the typical use and re-use of certain plants such as mistletoe, thistles and horse chestnut leaves.
Signs of years of use and a bit of abuse.
A shot of what it looks like on the other side of the doors! For once, not a disappointment!
One final word, other than assuming that this door dates from the end of the 1800's, I do not know what the building's use was, but there is a monogram over the glass in the door which, if you look closely, you can see is an interlocked H and C.
Would you have guessed that these doors are to a school? I'm not sure if I would have, though there is something about it that does suggest that they are there to welcome many people. Perhaps the fact that they are white made me think of an old hospital entrance...that and the lady over the door.
But a school it is. Actually, these are the doors to a language school for kids up to the age of about 11 years. They must expect some very tall kids...look how tall those doors are!!
I like all the small windows in these doors as well as the stained glass over the doors and, of course, the sweet, innocent face with the large bow that watches over and protects this door. The wrought-iron gate is, in my opinion, a bit out of place...I'm not fond of the design, but that is just me. What you can't see very well is the frame which has some lovely relief work.
OK, so this isn't a terribly exciting door, but it is a nice door and it deserves being introduced to more people than just the kids and their parents that walk through it. And just one last thought...do you suppose the white color of this door has anything to do with the age of the students...young and fresh and looking at the world as their blank slate?? (or computer screen as they may actually see their world!)
This is a magnificent door and doorway. So could someone PLEASE tell me why anyone in their right mind would allow parking signs - TWO OF THEM! - to be planted practically RIGHT IN FRONT OF this fabulous entrance?? They practically hide the two beautiful lamp posts and they certainly take away from them! Look at the above picture and what does your eye zoom to first...the red circle. Oh how sad!! This door so deserves more respect. Look at the building...it is an old palace, but you don't need me telling you that...it seems rather obvious, doesn't it. Everything about the building has a strong rich feel to it and this archway just sings out songs for those who have the ears to listen to them.
Regrettably, the doors were open when I went past, so I couldn't really get a good shot of either one of them (and I have a little rule to myself to not be an annoying touristy-looking person that assumes they can just walk up and in through the doorway and take all the pictures they want..not cool), so you'll just have to be satisfied with what I have for you here. On the other hand, though, because the doors were open you get a glimpse of what is behind them! I think this sounds like a fair trade-off!
Check out the wrought-iron work...isn't it amazing? Just a few bits of gold on the section above the door...
and plenty on the wrought-iron balcony railing above the door's arch. The sober stonework of the arch has just enough to make it interesting, but not so much that it takes away from the beauty of the metal work. I like this door. Everything about it is impressive including it's size!! (P.s. to give you an idea of the size of the door the man/guardian in the first two pictures was very tall!)
Recently, I came across this door on a street that I have been on a few times - many times in a car - but had never actually walked near it enough to notice it (the river is on the other side of the street so I think I was always looking towards the river). I don't know when this door was put here or why the pheonix mosaic was put over it as the two, no, three styles (including the arch itself which is art nouveau) are, in my opinion, an odd combination. That being said, I still like all three. The door itself, is of simple wood with delicate carvings of flowers on it that have just a few touches of gold on them. This is rich without being too much. The other touches of gold such as the ornate metallic corner points on the door's upper inside edges and lower edge (the door's kick plate) and the door handle plates and keyhole plates are incredibly charming. I find their swirls and whorls happy and uplifting (a bit like the phoenix rising from the flames!)!!
There is, as you may see here, what appears to be Hebrew (???) written in gold relief...I haven't a clue what it says, but I suppose someone who knows how to read it might be able to shed some light as to why it has been put on this door.
The carved flowers are lilys which traditionally symbolise purity, innocence and/or virginity. According to one dictionary I have on symbolism, in Bohemia (yes, Prague is considered to be in Bohemia) the lilly is seen as a symbol of celestial purity, but I have to admit that I don't quite grasp what they mean by 'celestial'... There are other interpretations of the lilly such as it standing for forbidden love. Another has it symbolising temptation or the doors to hell. French kings have used the symbol of a lilly to mean the prosperity of the race. There are other definitions as well, but one that might have something to do with the placement of these lilys on the door AND the writing is the biblical tradition of the lilly which is that this flower is the symbol of choice of the beloved, e.g. what was the privilege of Isreal amongst the nations and of the Virgin Mary among the women of Isreal. The lilly also symbolises providence: leaving things (life?) to the hands of God.