Tuesday, 14 December 2010


OK, so this door isn't in perfect shape, but you can't disagree that it is a really cool door. Seriously, look at it...see all those little knobby things all over it? Are they not interesting? You could appreciate this door even if you couldn't actually see it...all you would have to do is run your hands over it. And all those textures allow your eyes to feel the door without even having to touch it with your hands.

No one will disagree that this door needs a bit of t.l.c., but compared to a lot of the other doors in this city, it looks pretty good considering not only the damage from time and weather, but you can see that it has also managed to escape (so far) the loathsome spray painters. If I am allowed one gripe, I would say that I'm disappointed a bit about the door handle because in my opinion it looks rather common and definitely does not have the character that a door like this deserves in a door handle. Otherwise though, I think this door and all its parts are a real treat to look at. The wrought-iron work is delicate, intricate, unique and appears to be sufficiently solid. The style of door makes me think of a door from a city much, much farther south than Prague, but maybe one of you knows more about this than I do. If so, please do tell!!

A last item that I find worth mentioning about this door is the two flowering plants hanging on either side of the door...their presence makes the door approachable and even a bit light-hearted. Actually, I have to admit that every time I see this door I smile...it offers the admirer so much to appreciate that one can't help but smile when they see it.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Sandwiches for Sale

You are probably thinking I've lost my mind having put such an odd title for this door, but believe it or not, next to the door there is a rather large sign that says just that 'Prodej Baget' - Sandwiches for Sale!!

Perhaps they do sell sandwiches there, but what is really behind this door is a school. As you may have guessed, we are looking at yet another building that was built for the church, evident by the religious sculptures above the door. A bird's eye view of this building would show you that it is part of a church complex where the main church entrance is on Narodni Street (and is just a few doors up from the National Theatre). This entrance is on a side street, and may or may not still have access to the rest of the church complex, but I don't know. As I have mentioned and shown before, there are so many (and I do not exaggerate) buildings and complexes that belong or used to belong to the church, it is hard for the man (or woman!) on the street to attain any-on-the-spot information on these less important buildings. What we can do is look at what is in front of us and appreciate it or not.

As for the door itself, I do like it despite it's apparent use (and some abuse), but I am wondering if it isn't relatively new. It has a nice 'chatting-grill', a simple, but not awful handle and has metal pegs in wood which I always like, but if you look at the style of the door and compare it to the style of the ornate statues above (and with the columns on each side of the door), it just seems out of place. One thing the door does do is with the aid of the inverted V slats on it it manages to send the eye upwards...towards the cherubs, the ladies, the bishop and the Madonna and Child. I just feel there is so much richness above and around the door that one of those metal-fronted doors that we have seen on other church buildings (for example see here) would be more appropriate.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Circles and Swirls

So maybe you are asking yourself (and me via the computer screen) where all those fabulous, incredible Prague doors are. Well, don't worry, we'll get to more of those soon, but before we do, there are a lot of doors that may not look perfect, but are surely worthy of being given their day (or two) here on my humble blog. Why? Because the doors that I'm talking about are also fabulous and because there is a whole army of them, there are plenty to share with you. These are doors that are on side streets or back streets or in other parts of town (rather than smack in the centre). These doors receive little consideration and admiration. In silence (or, perhaps a bit of rusty squeakiness!!) they hold the cold out and the warm in; they keep the things behind them protected not only from the elements, but from certain unkindnesses of this world.

Here is such a door. A wonderful example of Art Nouveau. It is looking lovely for those who have the eyes to see it's beauty; smiling at those who have the spirit to feel it's kindness; and being strong for those who believe in their hearts that a door is not just a collection of wood and metal, but a force that uses it's combined energies to protect the occupants of the house to which it has been given the duty of guarding.

This door has pride despite the fact that it's owners lack the ability to show it kindness. Small things like destroying the door's center line will not ruin the heart of the door, but it does make a heart sad.

At least the flowers, circles and swirls in the wood, the wrought-iron and in the stone-work above the door have survived. In fact, they seem almost determined not to be bothered by whatever life throws at them...they remain strong, beautiful and intact. Bravo beautiful door, bravo!!

Monday, 29 November 2010


This door has suffered time, man and nature. We've seen this before (far worse than this!) and we'll see it many times again. This rather simple, but potentially beautiful door could, with a good sanding and a coat or two of varnish, again be something wonderful. Afterall, it has all the elements ...beautiful wood, great door accessories and an interesting stone doorframe. This poor guy (yes, this door has now been elevated to the status of deserving a gender, even if, in Czech, the word for door - dveře - is neutral!) is just there begging to get a bit of attention so that he can once again smile the strong, proud smile of a worthy door.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Pride, Strength, Honour, Knowledge? What does it all mean?

ZOOM IN and you see the shield for the Italian Embassy (Ambasciata d'Italia) and some incredible wrought-iron work in an arch.

ZOOM OUT a bit and you see two enormous eagles contorted around a door frame in a position that signifies strength and pride.

ZOOM ALL THE WAY OUT and you see a fabulous metal door decorated with intricate details, the two attentive and proud eagles AND two gentlemen (well, sculptures of them!) sitting on giant scrolls high above the door. Honestly, I don't know if I would be scared or honored to walk through this door...what does it all mean??

I honestly doubt that when the Italian Embassy decided to use this location that it changed the door or its frame (sure, they very likely had it all cleaned and repaired, but not changed)...so what exactly this door, it's frame and sculptures (and the additional smaller side doors on each side of this main door) saw and represented before, I don't know. If I knew something I would tell you, but unfortunately I don't though I will make the simple and rather obvious assumption that this building's original function was either in connection with the church (remember the Clementinum) or having to do with education (university), which, in the end comes back to church since in the past, scholars always had some connection to the church.

Sunday, 21 November 2010


It's perhaps a sad truth, but most of us are creatures of habit (well, perhaps not everyone is, but I think most of us are)...I am no exception to this rule. For example, in general, I tend to gravitate towards the centre of Prague within a certain radius of the Charles Bridge, but now that we have a dog, I have found myself trying to find new places (new to me, that is!) where there are also large green spaces as well. On one such occasion, my husband (a native Pragois) decided to take a walk in Vysehrad. Well, if any of you know Prague (and many of you certainly do!), Vysehrad is not just an area, but to be precise, it is the second castle in Prague. Until now (and even still) I have only made short visits to Vysehrad and all that is encompassed in castle's walls...which is A LOT! Vysehrad isn't far from Prague...it is right inside of it!! I have always thought of Vysehrad as the lesser sister of the two castles in this city since it doesn't receive the same recognition that the Prague Castle does (I guess having the president and the government there makes a difference), but that doesn't mean it is less interesting. It is very interesting, but in an entirely different way. I won't go into detail on that, but I will show you some photos of a small chapel that is in the castle grounds. The chapel/rotunda is interesting in itself, but it is, OF COURSE, the door that I was most interested in when the path I had taken lead me to it. A round building, a rounded door frame, round columns, lots of rounded shapes on and around the door...and look at that fabulous curvy wrought-iron work on the door...what spectacular hinges those are!! Wow, Wow and WOW!! One could say that all those loopty-loos and curly-cues might just be for decoration, but one could also think that maybe they were designed to help offer additional support for the door and even a bit of extra surface protection. Sure, the door is of wood, but with those hinges it might withstand a beating before giving in. Give into what? Well, churches have notoriously been sanctuaries for those seeking shelter...of all kinds. Maybe not so much today, but perhaps back when this building was initially constructed*.

*This chapel / rotunda is called Saint Martin and is the oldest of Prague's 3 surviving rotundas. It was probably built some time during the second half of the 11th century under the reign of the first king of Bohemia (yes, Prague is in Bohemia), King Vratislav.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

A Gentle, Happy Door

On a gray day when the weather is cold and dreary, if you walk by this door, I'm sure you will smile. At first glance, it's beauty is subtle, but if you take a moment and let your eyes wander around this door, you will find that it is happy and seems to have the function not only of a door, but of making people smile. It's dainty flowers at the top of a simple trellis are always in bloom even if the sun is far, far away and snow is on the ground. It's soft green color caresses you eyes...giving them a chance to take a rest in a world that seems to be constantly in motion and often out of focus. I have to say that when I look at this door, I feel peaceful.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Batman! Save this Door!!

OK, OK, I know, you're looking at this door and thinking what a mess it is. Well, you're right, and I believe that the idiots that spray painted on and around it should be rounded up and forced to clean up their stupid actions, but that is beside the point right now.

At first glance, perhaps this door doesn't seem to merit too much attention, but take a longer look at it...start at the top and admire the uniquely shaped windows, then slowly move your eyes down and around the door...

What do you see?

A bird? A lion? Wait! Is that a BAT???

And some sweet, delicate flowers...

And a graceful Art Nouveau-ish design (though I'm not too sure exactly why it is here, but, well, here you have it!!).

Now that you've given this door some focused attention, you have to admit that if someone gave this door a bit of love and care, it could once again be a door that everyone would admire in their first glance at it.

Friday, 12 November 2010

A Solid Beauty

For your upcoming weekend* I offer you the above rose and the beautiful door it has 'grown' on.

This lovely door (and entry) has a quiet beauty that gives a heart strength...well, perhaps I'm speaking for myself here, but I find that when I look at this door I feel not only peace, but calm. Can a door really do that? Take a look for yourself and tell me what you think.

*The first photo is my contribution to 'Weekend Reflections', a meme by James of Newtown Area Photo. For more information please see here.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Simple but Effective!

We could call this an 'Emily' door...it is small, has charm, pretty details and above all character!! I like this X-shaped nail (?) where the door is hinged and the handle is quite ornate (though I have to admit that this handle is a bit TOO ornate for my tastes on such a door). The repetitive pattern around the door's inner squares are nice and do I spot a peephole?

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

A Door; a Shutter or a Shutdoor?!!?

I had a bit of a laugh when I first saw this door. Perhaps you are having one now as you look at it. Isn't this a funny door....or whatever it can be called? All I can guess and certainly you might guess the same, is that this was some kind of a store at one time and the low wall served as part of the store's front and display area. It is nice that it has stayed this way if it really was once this. Luckily the door is rather high and the arch is a tight one because if it were lower and the arch was different, it might be painful to walk through this door if you aren't paying attention! I like this little door/whatever...it makes me think of a three-legged table or even one of those half tables that only have 2 legs because the table is supposed to be placed against the wall. This door has no handle, so I'm guessing that access to it is from a different entrance...nevertheless, a peephole does exist!! What a fun door!!

Thursday, 28 October 2010


On the street called Parizska (Paris Street), there are some very chic stores and in between them, some nice doors, some ok doors and some wonderful doors. This door and it's gate are what I consider members of that last group - wonderful doors!! Just look at this beautiful wrought-iron work....so rich, so elegant, so charming...it suits my tastes perfectly because it is beautiful without being too rich or too anything but, well, to repeat myself, charming!! Notice the little cut-out hearts at the bottom? (That's my new puppy Ellwood peeking through one.)

As for the door itself, it is of a caramel-coloured wood that is rich and friendly. It's simplicity invites you in and it's rounded windows are like delicate kisses to your eyelids. On the floor of the tiny 'foyer' between the gate and the door is a delicate mosaic of polished stones while on the walls a similar pattern repeats itself as a sort of garland of warmth enveloping the welcoming space before you actually enter into the building. You can certainly guess that I like this door/gate combination. Or did I already say that?

Sunday, 24 October 2010


Personally, I find nothing more appealing in a door than a big, beautiful, intricately carved wooden door. Look at this one, for example...isn't it just stunning?! It is immediately flanked by two wooden columns then once again by even larger stone columns which, though unimposing, give it strength and mass. But the door all by itself is just so beautiful that it earned my respect all by itself!! Sure, the fan shaped window above the door also adds to the door's charm though the door would still be sufficiently charming if it wasn't there.

As for the details, check out this handle...we've seen one similar to this before (see here), but that doesn't bother me...I liked it then and I like it now!! And the key hole protector/embellishment is incredibly intricate and a real beauty.

I think I'm in love with this door!!

Friday, 22 October 2010

Quiet Lions

The lions on this door once roared, but have since gone silent... possibly as a result of the dust or the neglect or both. These majestic creatures that once made this beautiful door regal are waiting to be able to roar again, but until this door has been given some proper loving care, they will remain quiet. It really wouldn't take much though to help them find their voices...just a bit of soap and water, new door handles and a bit of paint!!