Most entry doors are hopelessly ordinary and boring – a mere piece of wood or metal on hinges, serving functional tasks alone. There are, however, doors that go beyond that. Such doors become symbols, they connect the spiritual to the real world or link different aspects of our lives. We have already looked at the most iconic doors in the world and the most emblematic doors know from cinema. Today, we will explore the realm of aesthetics and seek the most beautiful entry doors known to man.
We were stunned when we started looking for candidates to include on our list. The creativity and craftsmanship of execution of the doors here are remarkable. This is why we at SBS Design are eager to share today’s post with you. We hope you will find the beauty in these unconventional masterpieces.
# Sterner’s Studio
In 1902, architect Ernest Delune completed an incredible house, the project for which began in 1893. The house was for master glassworker Clas Gruner Sterner. The building, a magnificent embodiment of the Art Nouveau architecture, houses Sterner’s studio on the top floor. Some of the most memorable elements of the house’s facade are the front door and the stained glass windows, made by Sterner himself. True pieces of art!
In spring 2019, the entry door was dismounted and the entire house was restored. Today you can once again see Sterner’s house in its full glory along with the beautiful entry door. It is located on 6, rue du Lac/Meerstraat in Brussels. But if Brussels is a bit too far for you, you can enjoy the amazing photographs of the house in the gallery below.
# Divriği Great Mosque and Hospital
This next building is a tad bit older than the previous one. It was built in 1228-1229 AD. The Divriği Great Mosque and Hospital is located, as the name suggests, in Divriği, Turkey. It is under the auspices of UNESCO as part of the world cultural heritage. The entire complex is truly breathtaking. But it is the main entrance from the north and the entrance from the west that inspires awe in visitors. Both are decorated with three-dimensional ornaments, which cast shadow on the entries. The shadows look like a human being in a prayer pose, which changes depending on the sun’s position (the time of day). It’s interesting to note that Islam does not allow for sentient beings to be depicted in art (aniconism). Probably this is the reason why the craftsman creatively went around the prohibition, staging the decorative elements the way they are … “by accident”.
# The Florence Baptistery and the golden doors
The Florence Baptistery is another religious building that far exceeds the realm of the spiritual. The Baptistery of Saint John is very important for Renaissance art. It is precisely the Baptistery that paves the way for the Florentine Romanesque style. And the jewel in its crow is the entry doors. The south doors by Andrea Pisano and the east and north doors created by Lorenzo Ghiberti draw crowds of thousands annually. It is precisely the east doors that non-other than Michelangelo himself dubbed “the Gates of Paradise”.
Ghiberti worked his way through even the smallest detail – completing the doors took him 21 years! They are made of 10 panels, each depicting a scene from the Old Testament. The depictions use a new for its time technique to establish perspective, giving depth to each scene. And another Italian artist – Giorgio Vasari, says for the east doors that they are “undeniably perfect in every way and must rank as the finest masterpiece ever created.”
# The golden doors at the Royal Palace in Fez, Morocco
Quite unfortunately, the Royal Place in Fez, Morocco is not opened for tourists. We, however, are certain that a visit is definitely worth it because of the exterior. The seven golden (not actually made of gold) entry doors of the palace alone could make you imagine the beauty of the interior. These amazing brass doors are decorated with intricate patterns. In turn, the mosaic adorning the exterior walls could themselves be called a masterpiece.
# The Notre-Dame doors
On 15 April 2019, a fire collapsed the roof of the Notre-Dame cathedral. Fortunately, the fire spared the structure and the exterior doors of the building. In turns out the entry doors are extraordinary. According to a legend, which dates back to 13th century, a young blacksmith named Biscornet was hired to make the decorative metal elements for the entry doors. His work was the last detail from the cathedral.
Once the doors were revealed to the citizens of Paris, they were stunned by the beauty of the details. Naturally, such craftsmanship was never seen before. The metal elements that Biscornet made were so impressive that rumors started circulating. People were saying that the blacksmith sold his soul to the devil. After all, such details could have never been made by a human hand. According to the legend, the fact that the doors were sealed shut and were opened once holy water was sprinkled on them only fueled the rumors. Biscornet died shortly after completing his masterpiece. And so, many people thought that was payment made to the devil. Others in turn though Biscornet was the devil himself. His name means “the two-horned one”.
There are a lot more doors that deserve to make the list of the most beautiful entry doors in the world. We’d be happy if you shared your favorites in the comment section below. Do you have any?