St. Vitus Cathedral, begun in 1344, has a set of front doors with plenty of history and beauty. (photo by Leah Heiser)

St. Vitus Cathedral, begun in 1344, has a set of front doors with plenty of history and beauty. (photo by Leah Heiser)

Besides the beautiful store fronts and amazing stone pathways, the doors of Prague are another hidden pleasure sometimes overlooked.  As one walks down the often narrow streets of Prague, doors of every shape, color, and detail are displayed like pieces of art work. Usually framed with ornate designs, the doors of Prague are statements themselves.  The doors in Prague can be found as focal points to many Czech buildings, yet they are still easy to overlook as many of them are hidden in alleyways.

Whether they are carved of wood or painted with a mural, every door in Prague seems to have a different story to tell.  I feel comfortable saying that the Prague is the city of detail, even the doors are given a chance to tell onlookers that what lies behind them in not just a shop, church, or restaurant but an opportunity to explore something new. The variety of color, technique, design, and architectural styles illustrate the diverse cultural history of this city.

The architectural styles found in the city of Prague include:

  • Romanesque
  • Gothic
  • Renaissance
  • Baroque
  • 19th-Century Neo Classical
  • Art  Nouveau & “Cubist”
  • Functionalist & Communist

Doors lead to new places, new ideas, and new concepts of life. The city of Prague does not overlook the importance of such change that doors can introduce. In essence, doors represent opportunity; an opportunity to change old ways of thinking. Doors also symbolize freedom of choice. The cultural history of Prague illustrates just how important freedom is to the people who inhabit this city. So, it seems only natural that the Czechs would not overlook the metaphorical nature of doors.

 

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