Doors of Europe and the interesting stories behind them

(Outline only. This is not the complete article. This is a mere layout. I write when I feel like writing.

My research internship at a CNRS Lab in France carried me to Europe. In a conscious effort to revive from the culture shock, I explored the various places in Europe and it helped me to understand the European lifestyle, the thinking of people etc. One of the many things that caught my attention was the majestic doors and windows. I kept walking on the streets of Compiegne during the first weekend. Having an avid interest in graphic designing, the beautiful bold typefaces on the store fronts kept me captive. Calligraphic fonts, bold serifs, slab serifs and a lot more. However, I am writing this about an essential part of buildings which often many ignore in the grandeur of automobiles and beautiful buildings.

At first, it seemed like I am the first one to discover these majestic doors. I thought of creating an entire Facebook page dedicated to the doorways from around the globe. However, Google helped me to know about the various art forms that distinguish these doors, the story behind them and much to my disappointment about various existing projects and travel diaries of people who were equally marvelled by the doors and windows of Europe.

Notre Dame de Paris’s Western Facade

-French Gothic Architecture

– Location: Ile De La Cite

– 4th Arrondisement

– The western facade has three portals, namely Portal of the Virgin, Portal of the Last Judgement and the Portal of St Anne.The three portals are not identical.

The Portal of Last Judgement, which is also the largest of the three, is the last portal to be completed in 1220-1230.

The central statue is of ‘Beau Dieu’ (a Christ teaching) and to the left and right are the statues of the disciples like St Andrew, St John, St Peter etc. Under the tympanum, there are two lintels. On the upper lintel, the archangel Michael is weighing the soul of the dead. The good souls are directed to the Christ’s right and the condemned are directed by the devil to the left, that is to hell. The lower lintel shows the resurrection of the dead.






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