I have a thing for doors.
Not just any door.
It’s gotta be cool.
Ask me to define that. Hmmm…. Um, well, you know! Cool!
Shall I show you?
That’s a cool door. The Cathedral in Old Altea, Spain. It’s kinda understated on the outside. I wish I had pictures to show you of the interior – they’re on my desktop at home, not the laptop, here at the hospital. But, suffice it to say, you walk in, you make it past the foyer – and then your breath just sucks in, tears fill your eyes, and you wonder, “Is this what heaven will look like?” Literally breathtaking. I love this door – what you see on the outside tells you nothing about the inside. The average visitor to Old Altea isn’t there during the hours when it’s possible to enter the Cathedral. They snap pictures of the exterior and quickly move on. The patient ones wait around a while, “donate” a couple of Euros to the little old lady in the foyer who blatantly promotes her son’s restaurant with fliers – J, and then – unsuspectingly, step around the divider wall and gasp. The beauty is nearly blinding.
I know people like that.
Average on the exterior, blindingly beautiful on the interior.
Here, I’ve got a few – let me show you.
I love this one.
My very good friend, Dr. Aniceto Baltasar, has given me this lecture more than once; I feel the need to share! J THIS is a castle. Castles are places of defense. Palaces are what Cinderella lived in. Got it? This is a castle that was just by chance glanced at the top of a hill, and so it was pursued, and I eventually got out of the car, hiked up a bit of a hill, and came face to face with three towers in a cluster – this one I actually went in. If this post weren’t all about doors, I’d show you the amazing pictures of the interior, etc. But it is all about doors – and I need to tell you – this doorway speaks to me. First – this tower dates back to the Crusades. Yes THE Crusades. This doorway (I’m sure the door was wooden back in the day and has long since rotted away.) was built to withstand attack – sheltering the innocents within. When alarms were sounded to villagers, farmers, and peasants – they would grab the babies, a few food stores, and then would literally run for their lives to the castle for protection. Some doors are gateways to protection and sustained life. I find great beauty here.
Can you see that door? It’s pretty much right in the center of the picture. This is in Salt, Spain – right outside of Alcoy. This is my house. The one I’ve adopted in my heart. I’m pretty sure it’s meant to be mine some day. I know the picture is a little bit obscure – I wish I had a better picture to show you – I’ve got lots, because I visit my house every time I’m in Alcoy. J But the stained glass around that door speaks joy to me. Someone took great delight in crafting a beautiful doorway for this home. Lovely.
I know – this is supposed to be door-oriented – but I just GOTTA show you the view from that door:
(Those are almond orchards there in the foreground. Olive orchards on the terraces behind.)
I think it’s really interesting how different areas have different door “attitudes.” And era of door origin plays a lot into overall feeling, too, of course. These doors are from Madrid. They’re a little bit high fallutin.
Pretty, right? But a little bit deceiving… Here’s what you find when you enter – this is a door that leads to a door! A BIG door.
What’s not to love about this door?
That’s a TALL door.
This is an IMPRESSIVE door.
This is a very OLD door.
It’s the entry way to what is still an active religious order. The building has been a palace, a convent, and a prison over the course of hundreds of years.
Do these doors keep in? Or keep out? And why?
A beautiful door:
Here’s a plaque that goes to a door you wouldn’t have wanted to go through way back when:
It says: “En este inmueble tuverion su sede el consejo supremo y tribunal de la inquisicion desde la decada de 1780 hasta su extincion en 1820.” (Please keep in mind that I don’t speak, read, or write Spanish!) Which our handy dandy iGoogle translator says means: “Tuverion That building houses the Supreme Court of the Inquisition and the decade from 1780 until its extinction in 1820.” Yeah, whatever, you get the idea – this is where the Inquisition guys got together and bad stuff went down!
And a door that needs guarded.
The Royal Palace, Madrid, Spain – we just happened upon the changing of the guard. Most days – you don’t see the fancy guards and the doors aren’t guarded quite this heavily. But on days when a member of the royal family is holding meetings or an event is being held at the Royal Palace, then all of the pomp and circumstance get unfurled and security gets tight.
I guess the reason I have such a thing for doors – regardless of where they’re found – is that you can go along for ages and see mundane door after mundane door – and then, all of a sudden, you run into something like this:
Sanitorio San Jorge, Alcoy, Spain
Doors are so about real life. Each one is a decision to make, a path to be chosen, an opportunity.
So you should know – if ever you and I are walking down the street somewhere and I should happen to spy a cool door – there’s a very real chance you’ll find I’ve stopped in my tracks, started digging in my purse for my camera, and have taken some time to just stare at beauty.