Monday, 29 November 2010

Worthy



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 - dveƙe - 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

Vysehrad



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!!