Doors, portals, passages and gates of Sweden

I’m sure that somewhere, photographic essays – yes, probably entire books, have been assembled on doors and their similes. After all, for being such a simple, utilitarian building element, they are ascribed huge symbolic importance; hope, opening, opportunity, passage, transition from one state (or world) to another… and so on. Doors signify protection and shelter. Same thing with gates. An open door or gate is said to denote both opportunity and liberation. In addition to its heavy symbolic meanings, from a purely social perspective, a door has the power to convey intent (as in “welcome” or “stay out”), communicate social and societal status, and prompt proper behavior in those who pass through. I find them fascinating! On a recent trip to Sweden, which was filled with other agendas, I couldn’t help myself, but happily snapped away at passages of one sort or another, whenever I got a chance. The shots I got are nowhere near a comprehensive display of the rich abundance, but they do make for a small start of a minor travel obsession.

Läckö slott

A deeply set service door at Läckö Castle. Just look at those walls!!!

Note the herringbone pattern on the door. Very significant pattern in Scandinavia.

Note the herringbone pattern on the door. A very significant pattern in Scandinavia.

Stringing lights between two buildings made a wonderful wintertime approach to the Rörstrand Design Center, where ceramics were made for hundreds of years.

Stringing lights between two buildings made for a wonderful wintertime approach to the Rörstrand Design Center, where ceramics were made for hundreds of years.

Very nice functionalist City Hall, in the small town where I grew up, whose politicians sadly have made some terrible decisions in the last few years, eroding decades of thriving arts and music. From having been a cultural hotspot, it has now become more of a cultural desert. So very sad to see...

Very nice example of functionalist architecture. The City Hall, in the small town where I grew up, whose politicians sadly have made some terrible decisions in the last few years, eroding decades of thriving arts and music. From having been a cultural hotspot, it has now become more of a cultural desert. So very sad to see… 😦

Linköpings Slott

The entrance to the Linköping Castle, now a museum.

Linköpings Slott, dörr

Not very good photo of a very beautifully ornamented door at the same castle.

Gård, Linköpings Slott

Another shot of the central courtyard. I can just hear the sound of horses hooves on cobble stone, hastily galloping through that portal, and the rustle of weaponry.

These days, the horses are made of rubber and metal.

These days, the horses are made of rubber and metal.

A couple of shots from the museum interior. The interior walls are no less impressive than the exterior.

A couple of shots from the museum interior. The interior walls are no less impressive than the exterior.

IMG_8336

A replica of a medieval door. If I recall correctly, the iron rose is a symbol for Biskop Bengt, the bishop responsible for beginning the construction of the Linköping Cathedral.

An old service door in the Linköping Castle. I'm 5' - 4" and would have to duck to walk through it.

An old service door in the Linköping Castle. I’m 5′ – 4″ and would have to duck to walk through it.

Detail of entrance to the Linköping Cathedral.

Detail of entrance to the Linköping Cathedral.

 

The same doors seen through the windows of the narthex.

The same doors seen through the windows of the narthex. Amazing wood work, don’t you think?

These doors, leading in to the nave from the "Weapon House" or narthex are of a scale intended to impress and humble visitors.

These doors, leading in to the nave from the “Weapon House” or narthex are of a scale intended to impress and humble visitors.

Love the old key, chained to its door.

Love the old key, chained to its door.

A lovely old barn, located between the Castle and the Cathedral in Linköping, glowing in the low winter light. Not sure what its use is nowadays.

A lovely old barn, located between the Castle and the Cathedral in Linköping, glowing in the low winter light. Not sure what its use is nowadays.

This fabulous cross- timbered barn is the King's Barn near Läckö Castle. Again, you have those diagonal patterns on the doors.

This fabulous cross- timbered barn is the King’s Barn near Läckö Castle. Again, you have those diagonal patterns on the doors.

Here too, except these used to be windows, and have been covered up in a traditional manner.

Here too, except these used to be windows, and have been covered up in a traditional manner.

Linköping 1

A long arbor covered street near the Linköping library. Would love to see what it looks like in summer when it’s all leafed out.

Stadsbild, Linköping

This photo is included more for the color that for its doors. I love how each individual, identical unit has a different, yet harmonizing color.

Stadsbild, Gamla Linköping

Quaint street scene from Old Linköping. If you go through that gate, you will likely come to an interior courtyard.

Linköping 2

Same here. Behind those brown doors is a passage to an interior yard.

A glimpse of the other side of the door.

A glimpse of the other side of the door. Note that diagonal herringbone pattern again. Obviously, it is found just about everywhere. If you’re interested, you can read more about its symbolism here.

Gamla Linköping 3

I love how the old cobbled streets are intact.

Gamla Linköping 2

I can’t seem get enough of peeping into these inner sanctums! 🙂

More of the same, but with a different look and feel.

More of the same, but with a different look and feel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is that diagonal pattern repurposed into a new format. Also, note the green color - it's a popular one.

Here is that diagonal pattern repurposed into a new format. Also, note the green color – it’s a popular one.

Strikt, simple elegance.

Strikt, simple elegance.

This one is a little more elaborate.

This one is a little more elaborate.

Building codes did not exist back when this was built, and I'm glad. If they had, we wouldn't be able to see these charming solutions.

Building codes did not exist back when this was built, and I’m glad. If they had, we wouldn’t be able to see these charming solutions.

Not the most sophisticated of locks, but hey - it works!

Not the most sophisticated of locks, but hey – it works!

Grön dörr 1

This beautiful building is from Baroniet i Åtvidaberg.

This beautiful building is part of Baroniet in Åtvidaberg.

Grinden, Adelsnäs, Åtvidaberg

The family weapon adorns the front gate.

Grind 2, Adelsnäs, Åtvidaberg

Impressive gate posts holding a gate…

... that overlooks a garden on a central axis, lined with clipped box.

… which overlooks a garden on a central axis, lined with clipped box.

Arched portal at Brahehus ruins, which went down in flames in 1708.

Arched portal at Brahehus ruins, which went down in flames in 1708.

Brahehus järnlucka

This was still intact at Brahehus. Or, if it was added later – I don’t know. It made me wonder. Was it a jail cell? Or some kind of protected storage?

Kyrkportal 2

Old churches were often walled in with entrance gates. This one is in Västergötland.

Kyrkport

This one too. Churches back then often doubled as defense posts – one could seek shelter inside.

Kyrkport 2

The entrance to Husaby Church. The towers are original and stem from the 1100’s. Before the stone church was erected, there was a stave church in its place. The tombs in front are said to be from the 900’s.

Kyrkport 1

Another church that has seen centuries of people walk through its doors. Its hard to see in the photo, but if you look closely, you will see that diagonal pattern – again.

Gamla brandstationen, Linköping 3

The Old Fire Station in Linköping. It too has a portal and a wall surrounding it. Now, the building houses KomVux – an organization offering continuing education classes.

Gamla brandstationen, Linköping 2

Looking back at the portal I took the last photo from.

Gamla Brandstationen, Linköping

Fantastic example of adaptive reuse, where the arches have been infilled with modern building materials, and are now offices. Love the brickwork, too.

Gamla brandstationen, Linköping 1

These two arches remain open to the outside.

Here is an arched portal from a different time period. It is much beefier, and serves as the entrance to the garden surrounding the Bishop's Manor. The Manor itself is from the early 1700's, but was likely built on medieval foundations. Not sure how old the surrounding wall is - it somehow seems older, to me, but I don't know for sure.

Here is an arched portal from a different time period. It is much beefier, and serves as the entrance to the garden surrounding the Bishop’s Manor. The Manor itself is from the early 1700’s, but was likely built on medieval foundations. Not sure how old the surrounding wall is – it somehow seems older, to me, but I don’t know for sure.

The lovely portal into Trädgårdsföreningen - a park in Linköping.

The lovely portal into Trädgårdsföreningen – a park in Linköping.

There are two matching cottages near that entrance. Both have very ornate porches, framing doors of a stricter, more simple elegance.

There are two matching cottages near Trädgårdsföreningen’s entrance. Both have very ornately decorated porches, framing doors of a stricter, more simple elegance.

The Orangerie at Adelsnäs in Åtvidaberg, have wonderful glass expanses that overlook the gardens.

The Orangerie at Adelsnäs in Åtvidaberg, have wonderful glass expanses that overlook the fountain and gardens. There are often summer concerts offered here.

Vacker trappa

Very stately granite stairs, leading up to a rather beautiful entrance.

Gammal källardörr, Åtvidaberg

Across the street, is a tiny, basement door, in one of the oldest remaining buildings in Åtvidaberg – the little town where I grew up.

Gamla rådhuset i Lidköping

I’ll end in the same region this post began. This is a small service door in the Old Courthouse in Lidköping. Originally, this was a hunting lodge for Magnus Gabriel de la Gardie – proprietor of the nearby Läckö Castle. It is a wonderfully unique structure. You can see more photos of it here, if you like.

Temperatures are supposed to go up to over 100F degrees today. In Celsius, this is nearly 40 degrees, and makes people like me completely miserable. I had been thinking of writing this post for a while, and I’m glad I waited. It felt really nice to hole up in our basement, and remember the wintry days of my trip home. A mental cool-off, so to speak. Stay cool out there, friends!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About annamadeit

I was born and raised in Sweden, By now, I have lived almost as long in the United States. The path I’ve taken has been long and varied, and has given me a philosophical approach to life. I may joke that I’m a sybarite, but the truth is, I find joy and luxury in life’s simple things as well. My outlook on life has roots in a culture rich in history and tradition, and I care a great deal about environmental stewardship. Aesthetically, while drawn to the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia, I also have a deep appreciation for the raw, the weathered, and the worn - materials that tell a story. To me, contrast, counterpoint, and diversity are what makes life interesting and engaging. Color has always informed everything I do. I’m a functional tetrachromat, and a hopeless plantoholic. I was originally trained as an architect working mostly on interiors, but soon ventured outside - into garden design. It’s that contrast thing again… An interior adrift from its exterior, is like a yin without a yang. My firm conviction that everything is connected gets me in trouble time and time again. The world is a big place, and full of marvelous distractions, and offers plentiful opportunities for inquiry and exploration. I started writing to quell my constant queries, explore my discoveries, and nurture my curiosity. The Creative Flux was started in 2010, and became a catch-all for all kinds of intersecting interests. The start of Flutter & Hum at the end of 2013 marks my descent into plant nerd revelry. I occasionally contribute to other blogs, but those two are my main ones. For sure, topics are all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blogs!
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17 Responses to Doors, portals, passages and gates of Sweden

  1. This was a real treat, so enjoyable looking at these. Thank you, and stay cool – your basement sounds great. We have now had the warmest Rochester, NY summer on record.

    • annamadeit says:

      I think, compared to many other parts of the US, we have been lucky up here in the NW corner, this summer. Which makes the heat-spike this weekend so much more tolerable. But yes, I am very grateful for our basement. Spoke with my father in Sweden this morning. He was making food to feed his bees. When I asked if that wasn’t a little early, he told me that they have had such a dry spring and summer that everything has dried on its roots, and there is nothing else for his bees to eat. I guess we aren’t the only place with odd and unusual weather patterns. The honey harvest was good, though – they got 280 kilos!

      • How fascinating! Not good about the bees, I guess, but the life he lives there seems so different. We have a cool basement, too. BTW we’re still hoping at some point to make a move your way. We just had a family reunion in Florida and saw our relatives from Portland.

  2. annamadeit says:

    Yeah, hopefully the rains return at some point. Well, whenever you can make it out here, you are welcome! 🙂 And, what a coincidence – we just had a nephew visiting from Miami stay with us for a few weeks! He wants to move here too.

  3. What a visual treat Anna! Back in my early 20’s I had an entire wall in my apartment dedicated to framed pictures of doors and windows, it was a great collection.

  4. linda says:

    Oh…I miss the old world !

  5. autopolis says:

    When I think of Swedish architecture, I usually think of post war mid century modern. I guess I never really considered that there are hundreds of years worth of architectural heritage in the shadows of those buildings. It’s interesting that some of the beautiful spaces in your photographs feel almost Mediterranean.

  6. Great pictures! I want to go to Sweden!

  7. karen says:

    A fascinating tour. Thanks for sharing

  8. Calle says:

    Very Fascinating. Doors…… from one to another 🙂

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