You might think, looking at these pictures, that the doors are from some castle in Europe, home of an ancient king. In fact, both can be found in Hearst Castle, California, high above the winding Pacific coast road. That’s not to say the doors couldn’t have started life in a European castle somewhere – Hearst was a lifelong collector of antiquities and, when Hearst Castle was being built in the early part of the twentieth century, he would visit Europe and buy up bits of castles and monasteries and churches that were being demolished, sending them back to his long-suffering architect, Julia Morgan, with instructions to ‘fit them in’ somewhere.
I think the door at the top, with its overwrought carvings of cherubs and masks and dolphins, looks rococo in style, possibly Italian in origin. The other door looks more ecclesiastical, as though it came from a British or French church, built long before the United States even came into existence. You can see how Morgan fitted it into the fabric of the building, matching the colour of the stone and building a space to fit it into.
The photos are not the best, but they’re the best I could do, trying not to include either our tour group or the unattractive carpet laid underfoot to protect the old floors. If you are in that part of California, I’d definitely recommend a visit to the Castle – it’s a place layered with history in a visually stunning location, with a magic that shuffling crowds and roped off areas cannot touch.
This is my entry to Norm 2.0’s Thursday Doors Challenge. For more doors, or to add one of your own, visit Norm’s page and click the link.