10 Most Famous Doors in History

10. Christ at Heart’s Door

Many British and German religious prints from the nineteenth century depict Christ knocking at the door of a home, symbolizing Jesus Christ’s importance at both a friend and a guest. The most famous of these images are the versions of The Light of the World by William Holman Hunt, the first of which Hunt completed in 1853 and which hangs today in Keble College, Oxford. In 1947, Warner E. Sallman rendered a 21st century version called Christ at Heart’s Door, in which a barely concealed heart on the doorway made prominent by the luminance of Christ. The absence of any outside knob or latch on the door indicates that one must open one’s heart to Christ from within.

9. The Portal to Narnia

Four Pevensie Children, evacuated from London during the Blitz, found a portal to a magical kingdom called Narnia in C. S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Norse myths and Christian allegories intertwine in seven Narnia books, but The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is allegorically about Christ’s crucifixion. Christ-like figure in the book, Aslan (the eponymous lion) sacrifices himself for a sinner. The cross is replaced by a Stone Table (taken from Celtic religion), both of which are pagan symbols. The splitting of the Stone Table reflects the veil of the temple splitting at the point of Christ’s death. As with the Christian Passion, it is women who tend Aslan’s body after he dies and are the first to see him after his resurrection. (The freeing of Aslan’s body from the stone table by field mice an allusion to Aesop’s fable of “The Lion and the Mouse.”)

8.Monsters Inc.

From one magical portal to multiple. In this monster-inhabited world imagined by Pixar Animations in 2001, screams of the children generate electricity. So, the city’s power company, Monsters, Inc. sends its monsters/employees to human children’s bedrooms to scare the children via teleportation doors. The movie reaffirms our childhood fears that there are monsters in the bedroom closet, especially after the lights have been put out. However, it is ingenious of Pixar to have the monsters afraid of the children likewise, and to poke fun at how much we have become desensitized to violence and horror.

7. The Columbus Door

In the  heart of the U.S. Capitol is the Rotunda, decorated with paintings, reliefs and symbols of the important events in U.S. history. At the east entrance of the Rotunda are the Columbus Doors, a grand   welcome to the nation’s collective memory. The doors are nearly 17 feet tall, and wieghs 20,000 pounds. A New Yorker, Randolph Roger, created these alto-relief bronze doors in Rome. Intitially, he had wanted to create the doors out of George Washington’s life, but instead used Columbus’ life from Irving’s Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus (1835), and included in his design busts of 10 historians famous for their work on Columbus, and allegorical figures of the continents. The doors were installed in 1863, and in 1871 were moved to their current position of honor at the main entrance to the Rotunda when the building was later remodeled in the mid-twentieth century.

6. The State Opening of the Parliament

In England, each year, the parliamentary session begins with the State Opening of Parliament, a ceremony in the House of Lords’ Chamber during which the Sovereign, in the presence of Members of both Houses, delivers an address on the Government’s legislative agenda. The Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod is responsible for summoning the Commons to the Lords Chamber. As part of the ritual, as Black Rod approaches the doors to the chamber of the House of Commons to make his summons, they are slammed in his face. This is to symbolise the Commons’ independence of the Sovereign. Black Rod then strikes the door three times with his staff, and in reply to the challenge “Who is there?” answers “Black Rod”. He is then admitted and issues the summons of the monarch to attend.
The ritual is derived from the attempt by Charles I of England to arrest five members in 1642, in what was seen as a breach of privilege. After that incident, the House of Commons has maintained its right to question the right of the monarch’s representative to enter their chamber, though they can not bar him from entering with lawful authority, hence the Black Rod.

5. The Westgate Hotel Door

The Newport Chartist Rising was the last large-scale armed rebellion against authority in mainland Britain. Chartism was a movement for reform in the United Kingdom between 1838 and 1848. Its main aims of the movement included suffrage for all men age 21 and over, equal-sized electoral districts, voting by secret ballots, the end to the need for a property qualification for Parliament, etc.
On November 4, 1839, somewhere between 1,000 and 5,000 Chartist sympathisers marched on the town of Newport, Monmouthshire, intent on liberating fellow Chartists who were reported to have been taken prisoner in the town’s Westgate Hotel. At the Westgate Hotel today, bullet holes from that insurrection can still be seen in pillars in the frame of the main door. The Hotel itself has since been converted into a shopping and entertainment complex.

4. Sliding Doors

In this 1998 movie, a young woman learns that she has been fired from her PR job. On the way home, two parallel story-lines unfold. For the audience, the main character (played by Gwyneth Palthrow) begins to live two lives, and it all started with the doors of a tube car closing on her, opening the “what if” floodgates. With her entire life hinging on whether she had made the train, it is the movie where the  audience can truly appreciates the deep meanings behind the axiom: “When one door closes, another opens.”

3.Elizabeth Arden Red Door Salons

In the 1930s, it was said that “there are only three American names that are known in every single corner of the globe: Singer sewing machines, Coca Cola, and Elizabeth Arden.” It is ironic because Elizabeth Arden was born in Canada in 1898. Starting in the 1910s, she expanded her international operations in 1915, by opening beauty salons across the world. All these “Elizabeth Arden Red Door Salons” graced the famous Red Door—the symbol which has become synonymous with the Elizabeth Arden brand and has become part of its logo. In 1989, the company launched Red Door Perfume with $10 million advertising campaign, one of the largest advertising campaigns for a perfume in fashion history. In May 2000, Red Door Saloons Acquired Mario Tricoci, forming the largest spa and salon business in the world.

2.Martin Luther’s 95 Theses

In 1517, a papal commissioner was sent to Germany to sell indulgences to raise money to rebuild St Peter’s Basilica, citing that dogma alone cannot justify man and that charity to the church is needed. On October 31st, a theology professor called Martin Luther wrote to the Archbishop of Mainz, protesting the sale of indulgences. His scholarly objection to the Church came to be known as The 95 Theses, of which the most famous was Thesis 86: “Why does the pope, whose wealth today is greater than the wealth of the richest Crassus, build the basilica of St. Peter with the money of poor believers rather than with his own money?” On the same day he wrote the letter, Luther nailed a copy of the 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg (church doors are the bulletin boards in his time), an event now seen as sparking the Protestant Reformation. The Reformation spread quickly with the aid of the newly-invented printing press. Every October 31 is celebrated as the Reformation Day.

1. Number 10 Downing Street

With a stone front step and a plain black entrance door with number ten on it, it is perhaps the most famous address in London and one of the most widely recognized doorways in the world. Number Ten Downing street is the official residence of the Prime Minster of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The small, six-paneled black oak door is surrounded by cream colored casing and adorned above with an attractive semicircular fanlight window. Painted in white in the center of the door, between the top and middle sets of panels, is the number 10; between the two middle panels is a black iron knocker in the shape of a lion’s head and just below the knocker is a brass letter box with the inscription “First Lord of the Treasury”, one of the Prime Minister’s courtesy titles. A policeman always guards the door, which can only be opened from the inside. The original door installed in the 1770s was removed during the Second World War, and is currently housed in the Churchill Museum in the Cabinet War Rooms.

Bonus: The Doors

The Doors formed in 1965 in Los Angeles was a popular and influential American band. John Densmore played drums, Robby Krieger guitar, Ray Manzarek organ, piano, keyboard bass and Jim Morrison was the lead singer.

This article contains direct quotes from Wikipedia.

3 Responses to “10 Most Famous Doors in History”
  1. mt says:

    How about Red Door Spas’ giveaway! They’re holding a holiday contest and the winner gets a stay at Harrah’s in Atlantic City, massage, pedicure, manicure, and more. They’re great. http://reddoorsuiteescape.com/

  2. Tom Smith says:

    I love singer sewing machines.

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  1. […] And in history, an image of Christ at Heart’s Door was included. For the full list please see: Most famous doors in history Famous Monsters Inc Doors Famous Sliding Doors Famous portal door to […]

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