I've seen lots of images of the doors of Dublin over the years, but I admit that I was still surprised to find that the colored doors really are all over town. The color, knocker and their 'fan window' give each door its own distinction from its neighbor.
But why exactly did Dubliners start painting their doors? Apparently sometime around 1715 anti-catholic laws were relaxed and Dublin became a place where middle-class Catholics could establish themselves in trade. As the city grew, homes were built outside the original medieval town in new elegant Georgian style, in continuous rows around the many squares. To distinguish one house from the next; owners painted their doors.
One of the better folk stories (likely not true - but fun anyway) was that two famous writers lived next door to each other; George Moore and Oliver St John Gogarty. Moore is said to have painted his door so the drunken Gogarty would not mistake his door for his own and wake him late at night with his knocking. Gogarty was said to then reciprocate by painting his door so the drunken Moore would not do the same.
What is always amazing to me when I visit the cities of Europe is their age.
The Dublin Castle (c. 1204; above) has stood since the days of King John, the first lord of Ireland. And this gorgeous church (Christ Church Cathedral; upper right) dates further back to 1028, that's roughly 5x times older than the country I live in!
I loved the covered walkway from the church to the rectory; it has such a medieval feel to it. The craftsmanship of the building, the stones, the doors ... are exquisite. Look at the old wood doors from the church. Total love for these doors!
Well that concludes my travel pictures from Ireland. I have some ideas for Irish-inspired jewelry, but those will come later. We loved Ireland and definitely recommend making the trip if you're so inclined.