Thursday, February 19, 2009

Silent Might, Holy Might

If It Please Your Worship

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON


This image was shot a few weeks before I started this weekly series devoted simply to doors from around the world. The metalwork on the wooden door caught my eye before Christmas and since all of you have probably guessed it is a church door, let me assure you that you’re correct in that assumption.

It is the side entrance to St Paul’s Cathedral here in central Melbourne and while the church has side entrances leading into the central courtyard, this is on Swanston Street, just past the Flinders Street intersection.

Given the fascinating history of this Anglican cathedral, the metal would date back to the nineteenth century. Today’s beautiful building, with its stunning spires, stands on the very spot where Dr Alexander Thomson conducted the new colony’s first open-air services in 1836. This area then became a market until the site was consecrated in 1852.

Its location is deliberate, placing the beautiful place of worship at one of the city’s foremost intersections, literally opposite the main entrance and hall of Flinders Street Station.

I’m guessing the metal design on this door probably dates back to the late 1880s. Just one (or maybe two) sets of hands created this piece of art, but thousands more have touched them in the generations since.


For earlier posts in this series, check out The Doors Archive.

44 comments:

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Gorgeous doors, David! And this would be where I would worship in that fair city. The craftsmanship of the Victorian carpenters is always a treat. I love what they did in St. Augustine as well.

Thanks for sharing...

Sheila :-)

Maggie May said...

Beautiful doors. They look so reverent.
Wouldn't have believed there'd be so many doors to choose from, but of course the World's your oyster with photography.
Brilliant series.

Braja said...

I have such a door fetish...

Life with Kaishon said...

What an absolutely outstanding door. VERY PRETTY! I love your pictures.

lime said...

oh i really do love both the curling design and the black on red. just beautiful.

Tiffany Norris said...

Incredible! Thanks for sharing the photos and the story.

Cheffie-Mom said...

Lovely doors, and very interesting history!

Janet said...

I love medieval-style workmanship. Beautiful pictures.

Mojo said...

After last week I figured I'd play along with this one. Doors are fascinating on many levels... architecturally they're probably one of the most important design decisions to be made. But once the building is up, the fascination is really about what lies on the other side.

In the case of my entry, it's far more prosaic -- and secular. But I (obviously) thought it was striking.

Lets' see what you think...

(I wonder if it's significant that my word verification is "piked"?)

slowtumblinglife said...

what lovely doors. and what a brilliant idea for a series! :)

Charles Gramlich said...

Very cool design

Moannie said...

Ah yes, you know I love doors having posted on my paintings some time ago. This is a particularly lovely one and love the thought of all the hands that have touched it.

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

They're stunning doors David, especially in that contrasting colour to the stonework.

squawmama said...

Wa gorgeous door... Loved it

(((HUGS)))
Donna

Craig Glenn said...

I think these doors are my favorite in the series so far!

Great photo.

Craig

Angelynn said...

Love the doors! The color is surprising to me for church doors. doorways are good meditations..especially if they are open!

Meredith Teagarden(The Things we Carried) said...

It is stunning. I am so glad you told us a bit about it, because instantly I wondered about the age of such gorgeous doors. What a lovely shot.

I would be interested to see the intersection you mentioned.

The Finely Tuned Woman said...

The doors are lovely and they are well photographed. Doors are one of the architectural features I like best about buildings.

Artist Unplugged said...

What an exquisite door, beautiful, I love the red and the pointed arch. Thanks for the history on this beautiful church!

bernthis said...

I love history so much. There are some very old buildings in L.A. believe it or not (not nearly as old as in Melbourne) but old for CA. I can just smell the history. It's amazing

Sarah said...

Just beautiful...

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

I do love your doors..I love windows too..what is it do you think, who knows psycho-babble, must have some deep dark/light meaning..light l hope!!

Nessa said...

It's like brocade embroidery.

zani faryana said...

Hallo Mr.David..i feeling lucky found you. I know ur busy to respond me becouse my speak english not to much good. Or mybe i'm not to much important. But its still feel lucky to follow you here.

regards,
faryana

Sandi McBride said...

Doors are fast becoming my favorite part of your generous work here. Windows and doors mean so much to people, because if they own them, it means they have a home. So many today have no windows, no doors, no rooftop to protect them that the simple image of a door can be breathtaking or heartbreaking. I love these doors. All ye enter in...lovely work...both the craftsman who created the doors and the photographer who captured them for us.
Sandi

aims said...

Those doors make me want to go inside.

Helena said...

V interesting, impressive door!

Usually, on cathedrals and older churches etc. the detail is in the carved stone of the archway, the door being made just as thick and safe as possible and therefore quite chunky and plain (villagers would run to the church for safety in any attack as it was usually the only stone building; a solid door was essential to keep people in rather than out!!).

Here they have clearly compensated for the plainness of the stonemason's tastes!

It's lovely. The cropped shot would be great on a postcard.

cheshire wife said...

Looks like there is a Spanish influence in those doors.

Who's Your Audience said...

In December, Hubby and visited his parents in England and walked through quite a few churches. The architecture...the beauty...the serenity. Doesn't seem like the human race was that advanced way back when...but the doors don't lie!

Jazz said...

I remember those doors from my trip to Melbourne last year.

Donna Marino said...

Excellent write and exquisite doors.

Louise said...

The doorway as a whole is incredible. What beauty. Old churches are wonderful.

M.M.E. said...

I will certainly try. Otherwise I will have to make rich friends and mooch off of them. By the way, I think I may have to take a trip to Melbourne just to see those doors. Absolutely gorgeous!

Lavinia said...

That is one beautiful door.

Anna said...

Wow very nice photo of the doors, so much work in it. Anna :)

Carol said...

I've always been fascinated by doors, David. These doors look regally spiritual. I bet many angels have passed through them.

QuietCypher said...

The place is very nice

Mrs. Organic said...

I love these doors, they're so beautifully photographed. These posts of yours have me on the lookout for interesting doors.

Carrie Lynne said...

Stunning!

Michelle said...

Beautiful! That door would have caught my eye as well.

Jennifer H said...

These are so gorgeous! I'm wondering if I can replicate them somehow, without spending a huge amount of money, of course. :-)

civilengineering_upn said...

I think it's gorgeous,
it's a beautiful art
I like a photos of chatolic church
I have a several collection in my country Indonesia
can you give me a suggestion
where I can find another photo
about the building of a church
around the world

diXymiss said...

Gorgeous and majestic ~ perhaps my favorite door yet!

Rose said...

The intricacy of the metal work on this door is amazing... so delicate...