21 March 2011

The Doors of Prague

entry door St. Francis Seraphicus Church, Prague  .
I made a too-short visit to Prague this month, getting only lightly reacquainted with one of my favorite cities. Since my last visit 10 years ago (wow, has it been that long!?), much has been restored or rehabilitated. I noticed in particular  gleaming and intricate ornamental ironwork, particularly on the doors.  
I posted a larger collection of these door pictures at flickr.  Here are some highlights:
beautiful amber painted door of the newly restored palace of the Rožmberkové (house of Rosenberg) Prague
strapwork ornament carved into an old door, Staré Město
Detail of one of three black iron doors with polished iron ornaments, Italian Embassy, Prague
These exterior door are all at street level, and are special with good reason. An overall pattern adds to the architecture of each building, and the door becomes more detailed and personal the closer you get. What better way to invite you closer?

I don't know anything about the specific tradition of ironwork in this region, but it does seem to have a distinctive style reminiscent of celtic designs. Which makes sense since during the  *cough* Iron Age, the Celts originated from this area.

a delicate and ornate knocker on an ebonized, studded door
a beautiful medieval looking figural knocker
splendid entry door and handle of the Svatý Mikuláš  (St. Nicholas) church, Tyn Square
Now, some interior doors
a lovely old door in the Vladislav Hall, Prague Castle
a very simple inlaid door with fantastic hinges
a beautiful marquetry door in Prague Castle
a small utilitarian door in a hallway- at once substantial and elegant.
ornate hinge: St Thomas Church, Prague

I am resisting the urge to pound a thousand upholstery tacks into my front door. However, a faux marquetry door might not be out of the question.

More pictures!
If you like door knockers, check out this collection by Grant K Gibson.





11 comments:

Pascal Amblard said...

Beautiful!
Some of the woodcarving reminds me of doors I saw in Switzerland and South Tyrol but the elaborate iron work is quite exotic to me . NIce medieval/baroque feel. I am also a door-fan ( should I use " " for this word??)

Lynne Rutter said...

LOL why not! fellow, "door-fan"

Gina said...

Dear Lynne, How did I miss these beautiful doors in my travels? Your photographs are stunning! Thank you for bringing these fabulous doors to our attention.

Theresa Cheek said...

OMG....this is pure art porn! I too, am now seriously considering "blinging" my front door!

Kass Wilson said...

Wow, Lynne. These are absolutely jewelry. What an inspiration. We get to travel with you through the eye of an artist. Thank you for sharing these.
Kass.

Mark D. Ruffner said...

Hi, Lynne. This posting alone is enough for me to book a trip to Prague! I'll be sharing this with a favorite traveling companion ...

Ann said...

A girl after my own heart... and my hubbie's. When we travel, doors always capture our attention.

Prague- another city I've not been to yet and hear fantastic things about.

Sure seems to me we need an Eastern European vacation...

Fauxology said...

OK. This post is sublime. My heart literally jumped at the black iron door in the Italian Embassy. The doors really do welcome a visitor and make them feel like a guest before stepping inside. I love the thought of that feeling being given. Now, off to the Flickr links!

Lynne Rutter said...

so many great reasons to go to Prague! I hope to get more inspiring pictures up soon.

Cleta said...

ooh - lovely! I am a door freak, too. I covet this thread. and I want the medieval knocker. That is stunning.

Thanks, Lynne! next stop - flickr!

Cleta

Sharon Leichsenring said...

Prague has been at the top of my bucket list for far too long. Thank you for sharing.

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