124 – A Peculiar Fascination With Doors

Perhaps some may consider me to be a tad strange or even rather “sad” – but I am going to own up …..

I have developed a “peculiar fascination about doors”.

Just recently I have felt compelled to photograph almost every old door  I see.  In Italy I am so spoiled for choice.  In almost every little town you visit you will find an old narrow street or alley lined with the most beautiful characteristic old doorways.  Some belong to dwellings that are still inhabited and alive. Others belong to houses long abandoned and neglected.

Each and every door or doorway has a fascinating story to tell.  Some have been in place for many centuries and seen great changes with the passage of time.  They all seem to conceal a mystery about them, about exactly who lives / has lived there,  who has crossed these well trodden stone thresholds.

I feel compelled to question ….

Were they hospitable doors that warmly welcomed guests or doors to lock, conceal or protect what was hidden within?

What do they tell you about their owners?  Were they a statement of wealth, constructed and carved by skilled and artistic craftsmen?  Many such houses bear a family crest or emblem etched into the keystone of a stone arch or have other elaborate architectural embellishments, door furniture such as hinges, knobs and knockers.

Or were they designed to be just a barrier or fortification, or merely humble and utilitarian?

Were they put together in a make do and mend fashion, with odds and ends of scrap materials available at the time?  There seem to be so many styles and methods of construction and a wide variety of materials and components used.

Some of these doorways have stood witness to times of extreme hardship and poverty, war and destruction, which provoked  many Italian families to flee their beloved homeland of Italy in search of a better life overseas.  Some have left purely for the convenience of a modern house  in a newer part of town. Italians are not generally interested in renovating old properties.  So sadly many characteristic houses have been abandoned, with doors locked and barred, and left derelict for many a year.

What melancholic memories do these deserted dilapidated dwellings now evoke when emigrants return home on a visit to their old home town?

Sometimes I can’t resist giving an odd door handle a little rattle or attempting to peek through the lace of cobwebs on a broken dusty window.

I am fascinated by examples of rusty wrought iron work , the texture and grain of wood that has become warped, weathered, and bleached by the sun, and of peeling painted surfaces.

I just can’t resist !!!

Oh …… Here I go again – Click – Click – Click

All photos by me © Louise Shapcott


Tre Cancelle Farmhouse Apartments Near Sperlonga Beaches and Historic Itri, South Lazio, Italy


3 thoughts on “124 – A Peculiar Fascination With Doors

  1. Hi Louise – I can easily agree with Diana and I share that same fascination with you. I first became mesmerized by doors in Paris – but later found that quite a number of books of photography had already been done. Your photos are great – I always like the blue – which I think of as “Santa Fe Blue” – New Mexican and the pueblos as well. And I think there are wonderful possibilities for stories based on your doors – sharpen those nibs up!

  2. I agree fully. Maybe you should write a story of who lived within the doors and what kind of life they led. Build your own characters and let your imagination run wild of what might have happened to keep those doors under permanent lock and key. I love the pictures, by the way and the story that went with them! 🙂

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