Some of the best doors of all time

For opportunity to knock, you’ll need a door

Doors might seem like a purely practical measure but you don’t have to look far to realise that they are a significant part of our history. Doors are the very image of opportunity, occasion and spectacle. They are often the beginning of later magnificence or represent grandeur, even when understated. Take a church door for instance. Whether the door that has popped into your head is the door from your local church or from Westminster Abbey, the fact remains that the door holds an importance.

  • Did you know? The oldest ever door was found in Zurich and is 5,000 years old.
  • Did you know? The biggest doors in existence belongs to Nasa’s Vehicle Assembly at the Kennedy Space Centre. These four doors are 139 metres high. That’s twice the size of Big Ben!

Coral Castle in Homestead, Florida, USA

Coral Castle tells the story of a broken heart. Built by Edward Leedskalin, it was a tribute to his ex-fiancé, Agnes Scuffs. It took him 28 years.

This door is made from a single coral block weighing approximately nine tonnes. It is 80 inches wide, 90 inches tall and 21 inches thick. While you might think that this is just a lump of stone, what makes this door amazing is the early mathematical genius it showcases: it pivots perfectly at the lightest touch.

The Columbus Door, Washington, USA

Washington’s Rotunda is beautifully decorated with paintings, reliefs and symbols of important US events. The Columbus Doors are at the Rotunda’s East Entrance and offer a welcome collection of memories for visitors to look at. Created by Randolph Roger in 1863 these 17 foot tall doors depict the life and travels of Christopher Columbus, the famous explorer.

The door to Room 101, Fictional

You asked me once, what was in Room 101. I told you that you knew the answer already. Everyone knows it. The thing that is in Room 101 is the worst thing in the world.”

George Orwell’s novel 1984 (published in 1949) is famous for a place called Room 101. This is a torture chamber in the Ministry of Love where the book’s characters are subjected to their worst nightmares. Those familiar with the BBC spin off show will be well aware of the horrors of Room 101!

The ‘Gates of Paradise’,

These doors were christened their name by famous artist Michelangelo. They feature on the Battistero di San Giovanni (or Florence Baptistery) which is an incredibly religious building in Florence. Built by a man called Lorenzo Ghiberti, the doors took 27 years to make and their design includes 10 panels depicting the Old Testament. Each panel shows a different scene – including the story of Joseph. Their biblical nature prompted Michelangelo to give them their name – and how apt it is.

The boulder that covered Jesus’ tomb, Jerusalem, Israel   

Perhaps an unexpected choice but technically a door, the boulder that covered Jesus’ cave before his resurrection is one of history and religion’s key doors. An event that is sacred to Christians, the physical resurrection of Christ has remained symbolic in art. The enormous boulder that sat within what has become known as ‘The Garden Tomb’ was impossibly large. The fact that it was thrown aside is symbolic, but its placement outside the lowly cave in contrast to its immense size – instantly belittled by God – makes it one of the most astonishing and important doors of all time.

What’s your favourite door?

If you’ve been inspired by these doors, check out our range of internal and external doors.