A stroll around Gibraltar No 5: Doors

  A door is such an important part of the personality of a building don’t you think? Here in Gibraltar we’re surrounded by beautiful colonial buildings and in many cases they have kept their original style of doors if not their actual original doors. If you’ve seen any of my previous ‘strolls’ you’ll know I have a bit of a thing about the older style of buildings here and I like the look of a slightly neglected window/door/façade. I must, however, reinforce the fact that although I am partial to taking photos of things which are perhaps a little shabby, it’s done with respect and Gibraltar has many new, shiny and well maintained doors too :-). Cue the freshly painted door…. 

 Look at the shine on that fresh gloss paint! I do like that shade of blue very much, reminds me of my old school blazer!

 Many of the front doors of buildings here feature a beautiful decorative metal panel above the door (presumably to allow a cool breeze into the hallway behind in the heat of the summer). There are so many examples of this around town.

  These two doorways (above & below) have got glass behind the metalwork, I presume that’s a relatively recent addition. The one below is on a rather narrow road with a non-existent pavement, the scratches in the stonework are caused by passing lorries which passed a little too closely.   

Isn’t this a fab paint job? I love the magenta/purple door surround!


 A beautiful (modern) door & (old) stained glass window combination just behind Main Street:

 They just don’t make doors like this anymore. Just look at the workmanship that’s gone into this… 
The next photograph (below) is of the rear entrance to the Law Courts. When we first arrived in Gibraltar this building was in a very poor state. When the Court House behind it was extended a few years ago, the old building was demolished leaving just the façade which was restored and incorporated into the new extension. It’s a beautiful example of how the existing architecture can be maintained and preserved for future generations.

 Gibraltar’s churches have rather fine examples of doors too. Here’s the front door of St Andrew’s Church of Scotland: 


And the very imposing entrance to the Catholic Cathedral of St Mary the Crowned: 

And this is a back door of the Anglican Cathedral of the Holy Trinity. I have walked past this countless times and have been a regular visitor to the cathedral during my time in Gibraltar but I never noticed this was here until I spotted a photograph of it on Instagram on the @zuzamarecka account. Can you see it has a very wide letterbox? 

 Here’s a close-up. 

 It says ‘books for seamen’. The Cathedral is the base for the Gibraltar Seamans’ Mission to this day and there’s a dedicated Port Chaplain based here who can be called on to offer support and guidance to visitors to Gibraltar’s Territorial Waters. I asked about the letter box for books and it’s no longer used, but if anyone wants to donate books for seamen, they can post them through the Cathedral’s main letterbox (to the right of this door). Please make sure they are labelled for the seamen.

I think that’s enough of the well maintained doors, back to my ‘old’ favourites…

Whoops – sorry I couldn’t resist taking that photo! 😉

   Oh what stories they could tell about the comings and goings in these buildings…
They would make such a great subject for a painting don’t you think? What about this one? 

That metalwork and the magnificent letter box are a bit special…. Here’s my interpretation of it from my watercolour class:

  Not an exact representation but it was fun having a go. I used candle wax and cling film to get the paint effect on the door and bubble wrap and natural sponge on the window. It gave me several very happy hours doing that on :-).

Thanks for joining me on my stroll, I do hope you’ll join me on my next one – it promises to be a little bit more energetic next time!


21 thoughts on “A stroll around Gibraltar No 5: Doors

  1. Lovely collection of door photos. I love them too. Hate seeing them thrown out. We have nice double doors to our block. A while back the PO got a fit in its head about puttng post slots everywhere. However they didn’t want to damage our front door 😀 anyway, nothing ever happened and the postie still pushes it under th door or walks in if it’s open.

  2. I love old doors, too. The ancient peeling paint is architectural in itself. I have resisted the urge to paint our shed door for that very reason, although it probably hasn’t been painted for fifty years!

  3. Gorgeous! I love seeing how you are progressing with your painting – the door is great! Love all the photos too 🙂 It’s surprising how different simple things like doors can be!

  4. I love those battered old buildings and doors even though it probably means the buildings are decaying from lack of maintenance………… Your painting is beautiful and successfully conveys that feeling of shabby and chic with none of the decay. Your photo of the door on the road is a hoot – is it covering a hole or just for stepping stability?

  5. I often photograph old doors and, usually, whoever is with me looks at me as if I’m mad. Unfortunately, I don’t have the skill to turn them into beautiful watercolours as you do.
    I’m amazed some people don’t take more care of the doors they have. If they had to replace them with a new one they would realise how expensive it is just for some boring mass produced one. Which reminds me – our front door needs oiling.

    1. Oh thank you for that! It is a shame when they are neglected because they are clearly built to last and have done for decades if not longer in some cases. With tlc they should last for decades more! Enjoy your oiling ;-)!

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