Doors of the UK – Durham Part 1

The medieval city centre of Durham has enough interesting doors to warrant its own series of door images.

Durham Cathedral is situated in the heart of the City of Durham, and it is a pilgrimage destination for thousands of visitors to north-east England, many who come to visit the shrine of St. Cuthbert. The cathedral started construction in 1093, during the early years of the Norman conquest. The Bishops of Durham were known as prince-bishops, which meant that they had civil authorities in addition to their ecclesiastical role. This included the right to levy taxes and duties, administer their own laws, and raise their own armies. There was no division of authority between the church and the state in this region until Henry VIII became king and diminished the power of the bishops.

Durham Cathedral was built in the Romanesque style and still retains many of these features. These architectural features include the use of semi-circular arches and chevron decoration of the stonework, both of which can be seen in these first two images. Unfortunately, photography is not permitted inside the cathedral, so you will have to make a personal visit to see what lies behind these grand doors.

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Durham Cathedral side entrance
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Durham Cathedral main entrance

The cathedral and much of the surrounding area has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. This includes Durham Castle and Durham University. Theological teaching began in Durham during the reign of Henry VIII, and the University of Durham was officially recognized as a university in 1832 – the third oldest in England after Oxford and Cambridge.

There are several doors that face onto the Palace green, located between the cathedral and the castle, some of which are shown in the following images. These are my contributions to this week’s Thursday Doors, hosted by Norm Frampton. See the links on Norm’s blog site for other door contributors.

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Durham University Library
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elevenses outside the library
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the bishop’s library
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mystery door

Doors of southern France – Part 2

This is the second half of my collection of doors from southern France, and this week’s contribution to Norm’s Thursday Doors.

We begin with another door from Narbonne – this one more institutional than the doors included in Part 1. Someone has gone to a lot of work to preserve the finish on these two wood doors. The two gargoyles are also quite well preserved.

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Office door in Narbonne

The glazed door is from a hotel in Avignon. The glazing and the opened door make this entrance much more inviting than any of the other doors – but then, for a hotel to be successful, this is a good feature to have.

Avignon is well known as the site of the Pont d’Avignon, located on the Rhone River. Several popes resided in Avignon in the 14th Century, and parts of the city are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, making it a popular tourist attraction.

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Hotel door in Avignon

The third door is from Les Baux-de-Provence, another historic village in southern France. Baux is a hilltop village that has been inhabited for thousands of years. There are typically more tourists than villagers in town on most days.

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Old door in Les Baux-de-Provence

The largest set of doors in my French collection belong to the Church of Saint-Trophime in Arles. The church is well known as a good example of Romanesque architecture – note the round arch above the doors – as are the sculptures on the portal.

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Church of Saint-Trophime, Arles