Thursday Doors

A couple of interesting doors from Greenwich, SE London. The Cigar Warehouse no longer produces cigars. It is an estate agency (realtor is the American term). Next to it there is an NHS health centre and on the pavement (sidewalk) there is a bright red pillar box (mailbox). The second photo shows a house in Circus Street, with an “eau de Nil” coloured door, with decorative wreath.

This will be my last Thursday Door posting. As soon as my visa application has been approved, I will be leaving UK for Bangladesh. Medecins Sans Frontieres / Doctors Without Borders is pulling out all the stops to provide care for the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya people who have fled from Myanmar. They are living on the borderline in a desperate state, fortunate to have a sheet of plastic tarpaulin and four posts, never mind a door.


Thursday Doors

This is a photograph taken from the passenger seat of a courtesy car (Porsche Carrera 911). This is the Polish Embassy in Portland Place, near to the BBC.P1300944

Thursday Doors – Saint Paul de Vence

SPdV is a beautiful hilltop village in the foothills north of the French Riviera. It’s not just my opinion – lots of actors, writers, painters and celebrities have lived here. And died here – James Baldwin (American writer) and Donald Pleasance (British actor). If you visit, try to avoid the throng of tourists who arrive in luxury coaches in late morning and phagocytose the fashionable restaurants for lunch.

The streets are narrow and lined with art galleries and gift shops. But forget these, and concentrate on the doors. This is statuette is above the main gate to the village.P1300601

Chapel with purple oleander by the bus stop outside the villageP1300599


Thursday Doors – Tende

Tende is a town on the old salt road from Nice in south east France to Piedmont in north west Italy. It is famous for the Vallee des Merveilles, a remote area in the mountains with thousands of carvings from the Bronze Age. The carvings (petroglyphs) were discovered by a British botanist, Clarence Bicknell, in 1881. The best way to visit the town is by the spectacular railway from the Riviera. But to get to the Valley of the Marvels, you need to hike for 8 hours or take a jeep. However, this blog is about the doors in the town.P1300573

Side door to a churchP1300585



Collegiale Church of Notre-DameĀ P1300584

This is impressive – on this steep flight of steps, motorbikes are forbidden between 9pm and 6am, and during the day speed is limited to 20 kph.P1300574

Thursday Doors – in Menton

Menton is the town between Monaco and the Italian border at Ventimiglia, as well as being halfway between Paris and Rome. It is famous for lemons (planted by Eve when she left the Garden of Eden…) and TB sanitoria. The old town was the haunt of pirates, and this is where most of these doors come from.

Chapelle des Penitents Blancs

Flowers on top, flowers on the bottom.

Pretty pastel colours

Medieval origins of the Old Town are celebrated by the wall plaque.

More old church doors

What a great door knocker

First floor of Le Terminus cafe, faded glory.P1300823


Thursday Doors from Nice

I needed a holiday after my mission in Delhi. Nice was very nice.

Aristocratic Russians loved the South of France. Tsar Nicholas II financed the construction of the Orthodox Cathedral of Saint Nicholas, which opened its doors in 1912. But not all of them; the door with the marble staircase was reserved for the Tsar, but he never came to Nice so it has remained bolted shut. It is dedicated to the memory of the Tsarevich, who died of meningitis in the mid 1860s in the city. If you visit, engage Tatiana to give you the full tour, she is an excellent guide.

Down in the ilots of the Old Town, the summer heat can be oppressive, so the doors are all angled to catch every breath of breeze. The fanlights above the doors are open to provide natural air conditioning.

The Lascaris Palace (converted into a museum, with a stunning collection of antique musical instruments) looks like an ordinary house in the old town until you go inside. It was built in the 17th Century, but these doors are Italian. The hinges were offset to prevent the bottom of the doors rubbing away the knap of the expensive carpets and rugs. They also prevented drafts and reduced the weight of the doors. Their embellishment in silver plating inlaid into the wood, covered with silverleaf, illustrates the rococo style.

Fancy doctors’ offices, Our Lady of the Port church, doors opening onto the balcony on the Garibaldi Square, painting the door of a chapel at the hilltop cemetery, and a glass-covered walkway to a door in a fine apartment block.