Thursday, January 9, 2014

Ireland :: The Doors of Dublin

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.

24 comments:

Jacquelineand.... said...

So beautiful Cynthia although I doubt I'll ever be able to persuade the Great Scot to visit Ireland.

Christine Altmiller said...

what beautiful buildings~the stories they can tell, given their elder status. the Moore~Gogarty folktale made this post for me! love good folklore :-)

Memories for Life said...

The colorful doors are so fun! I'm hoping to paint the insides of my doors to my new studio pink :)
And the architecture is so great there!

Therese's Treasures said...

Cynthia,
I enjoyed reading and viewing the photos about your story of the doors of Dublin. I don't know that one about the two writers may be true. Thank you for sharing your wonderful trip to Ireland with us.
Therese

BeadedTail said...

I didn't know about the colored doors but how cool is that! I love old doors and just imagine how they were made way back when before computer aided design!

Monique (A Half-Baked Notion) said...

I agree: in North America our oldest and most venerable buildings are rather Johnny-Come-Lately when compared to European architecture ;)

Your pics and stories are inspirational as always, Cynthia!

Annette said...

What a great post and photos! I didn't know about the different colored doors and I love the story whether it's true or not!

Lady Lilith said...

I like the colored door look. It gives the town personality.

Claudia Aguilar said...

I love the painted doors, very unique!

Shel said...

Oh my word! Stunning Castles and exquisite Doors in the same post?! The eye-candy is too much for me to handle! LOL!! Love these photos - right up my alley! If I ever do get to Ireland, I may not make it back home. I know that's how I felt when I went to Italy,...heaven forbid I really do go back!! ;-)

Bobbie said...

We went to Dublin when the kids were 6 and 9 -- still little enough to be absolutely convinced that there were leprechauns in the bushes outside our hotel. Loved the city, loved the history, and yes, loved the doors. Now we just need to figure out how to get back there!

Patti Vanderbloemen said...

Can you imagine how many families lived in a single dwelling that was built 600-700 years ago? Really! It is so fascinating! Nothing "here" is old in the eyes of the Europeans! Lovely photos!

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

Such beautiful photos of fabulous places! And such interesting stories behind those doors. I am so fascinated by stuff like this. I wish I could travel all of Europe to see these amazing things for myself. And photograph everything!

Miss Val's Creations said...

The painted doors are so fabulous! Especially for a city with particularly drab weather. It probably still helps to keep the drunk neighbors from going to the wrong door!

The stone work is so amazing on the old structures. The Christ Church is awesome. The crypt is so cool and creepy!

Duni said...

I'm a huge fan of interesting doors - and those are simply fabulous! My little town could use some cheering up like that too :)

Additionsstyle said...

It looks like you had an amazing trip! I love seeing interesting doors, how lucky you were to see so many in person. Thanks for sharing the history, stories, and beauty of Ireland.
Valerie
Everyday Inspired

Additionsstyle said...

It looks like you had an amazing trip! I love seeing interesting doors, how lucky you were to see so many in person. Thanks for sharing the history, stories, and beauty of Ireland.
Valerie
Everyday Inspired

Mary K. McGraw said...

I like your stories about the doors of Dublin.

Magic Love Crow said...

So cool! Love the painted doors and the history ;o)

Janet Bocciardi said...

I love doors, doorways... and in Europe even the windows! Great shots. Love the author story. It might be true. :-)

Caron Michelle said...

OMG - truly magic! Ireland is on my bucket list ... love sharing your adventures with you!

BIKBIK AND RORO said...

I've so enjoyed your Ireland pictures, Cynthia. I get to experience it all vicariously lol! It really is such a paradise for romantics and lovers of history, isn't it! Looking at these pictures, it's easy to understand why "banshee" is an Irish legend :)

BIKBIK AND RORO said...

I've so enjoyed your Ireland pictures, Cynthia. I get to experience it all vicariously lol! It really is such a paradise for romantics and lovers of history, isn't it! Looking at these pictures, it's easy to understand why "banshee" is an Irish legend :)

BackstoryBeads said...

I have SO enjoyed your posts on Ireland - it's long been on the top of my list of Places to Go. And I just can't wait to see some Irish-inspired pieces!!!

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