No plain matter

19 Apr
Palau de la Virreina

Palau de la Virreina

Barcelona is not a city of plain doors. Quite the contrary, its doors are well worth a look while walking in any of the neighbourhoods, be they old or new.

It isn’t often, that you come across a door as minimally decorated as the one below.  And with wood as well preserved as this it really doesn’t need more frill, in my opinion.

Pale door

Bare wood

Geometric door

Worn carriage ruts

The grand palaces of yesteryear often have very impressive doors, such as this one above, where the bottom of the doors have been clad with brass to shield them from wet weather. Did you notice the worn ruts underneath? Palaces such as this one, have sizable courtyards where horses and one or more carriages would have been stored – hence the ruts!

Rectangular door

No Curves

Most doors in Barcelona appear to have a rounded top, but I have managed to find an example that is just purely rectangular. Elegant, isn’t it?

Carrer del Carme (1)

Wooden neighbour

It’s quite fun to observe the doors of neighbouring buildings in any particular street. They often seem to be competing with each other for more detail or different styling… The one above and the one below are next door to each other on Carrer del Carme. The buildings are quite similar in their construction, but an effort has been made to differentiate one from the other in the kind of door that has been used.

Carrer del Carme (2)

Iron neighbour



Many doors in Barcelona (like the one of the Cute Suite also) are covered in graffiti, tags or stickers. At times, this can create an interesting contrast (as above) or make ir necessary for you to use a spray-painted knocker… well, actually knockers are not used anymore when calling on someone who lives in one of Barcelona’s gorgeous buildings, but it’s nice to dream away…

Graffiti knocker

Knock on Graffiti

Carrer Hospital

Skinny thing

Some doors are barely there, like this skinny rectangular one. I guess it was just too skinny to attempt an arched finish!!

Barça fan

Culé colours

Other doors may not seem attractive at first glance, but upon closer inspection they reveal that they have the colours of FC Barcelona, or are so very old and wonky, that it’s almost miraculous that they are still there, like the one which I found on Carrer Dagueria 22 (below)

Age old door

Evidence of age

Beauty in studs

Beauty in studs

Some doors are quite stunning. The one above took my breath away – the metal applications in the form of flowers are gorgeous, organic and subtle. Look at the lock, the door handle, so dainty. Oh and the knocker which has pride of place. I’m glad the letterbox – no doubt a latter addition – has been camouflaged so it doesn’t stand out. I love how the metal is matte and not shiny. What do you think?

Details that match

Matching details

Wonderful wood carving can be found on quite a number of doors, and lucky for me, these examples are just around the corner from my home, so I get to admire them often. The heart (below) appears so delicate, and yet, no doubt a fair amount of strength and dexterity was required to create it, and its companions on the door above.

By the way, see how the knobs that decorate the door are almost identical to those carved in stone next to the door? What attention for detail!

Carved details

Carved heart

Lady presides

La Dama de Elche

This is my favourite door from around the corner. I love the tiny lady on the door, and find it surprising to find it on a door in Barcelona, as she reminds me of La Dama de Elche.  I wonder if this is a coincidence or if maybe the person who commisioned the construction of this building came from that part of Spain?

Iron lace

Frilly knocker

This rather frilly knocker takes pride of place on the door where one of my friends lives.  It’s a fancy old cast iron one, but could do with a bit of a clean! Looks like the rest of the door needs a bit of TLC too.

Rich pickings

Rich pickings

This door (above) I find pretty impressive. The way the wood has worn is beautiful, and the locks and handle incredibly rich in detail. It belongs to a building that sits next to the courtyard I described last Friday. I actually need to go and have a closer look at that building, for it has a lovely patio and some incredible tiles…

What about this dainty hand for a knocker? And the very Moorish star that surrounds and encloses it? I found it in El Born, in one of the narrow streets, parallel to the Passeig del Born.

La Mano de Fátima

Fatimas Hand

Mid Century Vintage

Funky Grille

Not all doors continue to display their former glory. Often modern blandness has replaced it, but in some instances some good solutions have been found and an interesting new look created, such as the funky grille above, and the understated minimal chic of the door below.


Modern Chic

What are the doors like where you live? Do they inspire you, and incite you to take photos of them? I hope they do!

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