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Doors of Dublin

January 29, 2011

By Cara Filetti

Just a few of the 76 doors that Miss Filetti dashed through the streets of Dublin to snap pictures of.

When you’re talking about a city with as rich a history as Dublin, it is quite interesting (or maybe insane) to say that the most captivating aspect of the town, for me at least, was going from door to door taking pictures, and I don’t mean knocking on the door and taking pictures of the people inside, or of their houses, and I’m not even talking about the famous sites – I’m talking about actually taking pictures of the front door of these people’s homes.

You may be thinking to yourself, “Why on earth would anyone want to take a picture of someone’s front door,” and oddly enough, that is exactly what I did.

And not one or two front doors.

76 of them.

As we roamed Dublin, I found myself fascinated with the sight of a street filled with multi-colored front doors.  Most of us were.  Yes, I’m using the right words there – fascinated and front doors don’t normally go together, but that day they did.

It wasn’t just me either.  Ms. Lara and Mrs. Harig were in on it too.  We went traipsing from house to house, street to street, block to block, all over the Georgian Square, capturing something truly amazing. Almost every front door was a different color.  Various shades of reds, yellows, oranges, greens, blues, pinks, purples, and browns highlighted the streets and almost made them come alive.

Why the sad faces? Mr. Curtis was explaining that we had to stop running in traffic to take pictures of doors.

It started back in the early 1700’s when streets were not lit up by lights and all of the houses on the street looked exactly the same to someone walking home at dusk.  After a long day at work, the man of the house would stop by the local pub on his way home to have a pint and relax with friends.  This is Ireland, mind you, so most of the time, the men did not stop at just one pint, and often times found themselves heading home after dark.  This made the trip home a little more difficult and men sometimes found themselves accidently wandering into someone else’s house.

No traffic to dodge in front of these doors, so Miss Filetti took a picture from a safe distance. It's not as much fun without a garbage truck to sidestep.

In order to solve the problem, the women of the houses each had their home’s front doors painted a specific, bold color so their husbands would know which house was his.  This spread throughout the square, each house painting their front door a different shade.  Even though it was pretty obvious who lived where, some husbands still “accidentally” went to the wrong house after a night at the pub, so you’ll have to decide if it was because they “forgot” which house was theirs or not!

So, the women began differentiating their front doors even more – adding a unique door knocker, distinctive trim to frame things, and installing an elegant fanlight window above the door – so their men no longer had an excuse for visiting the wrong wife on his way home each night.

As you can imagine, there were tons of doors to see in a short period of time.  If you were roaming the streets of Dublin with TAP you too would have seen Ms. Lara, Mrs. Harig, and me taking countless pictures of these breathtaking doors, racing from house to house, dashing across the street and darting back, almost getting pummeled by buses, trucks, cars, and other vehicles, just to take a little bit of the Dublin Doors history back home with us!  We saw no two doors alike and got excited each time we could add a new color or design to our “collection.”  Once again, we were reminded that it’s the little, unexpected things that make a TAP trip so fun.

Has there ever been something unusual that you felt the need to take pictures of on your vacation?

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Angelica Lara permalink
    January 31, 2011 6:36 pm

    Ms. Filetti — Your doors, Mrs. Harig’s AND mine… I’d say it’s a solid 250 photos of doors. BEAUTIFUL!

  2. Lizzy Murray permalink
    February 2, 2011 11:22 am

    Miss Filetti! I remember when you told us this story! Good times!

    Miss you,


  3. ivan contreras permalink
    February 25, 2011 2:09 pm

    thats discusting i want to live there

  4. bob permalink
    November 1, 2012 2:14 pm

    i think this whole trip thing is awesome i would like to go on one too!!!!!!!!

  5. bob permalink
    November 1, 2012 2:18 pm

    I can’t wait till I’m in 8th grade. Wonder where we’ll go when I’m in 8th grade.

    See Yaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!

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