Dublin’s Georgian architecture gives the city its character. From the manicured layout of St Stephen’s Green and Merrion Square to the elegant brick homes with their iconic doors, the charm of a by-gone era never left the city, even as it evolved into a modern European capital. Those delightful doors & doorknockers first gained worldwide fame when Bord Fáilte featured photos of them in a tourism marketing campaign in the 1970s. Soon, they were printed on all kinds of Irish gifts from posters to tea towels to t-shirts. For generations, they’ve been a vibrant symbol of Dublin.
Exactly what makes these famous doors so special? To start with, they would be beautiful even if they were all painted one dull color. Georgian doors generally have a window above them; typical a large one in a half-circle shape. They’re called a fanlight because of the shape and the design, which usually features panels that resemble the ribs of an old-fashioned hand fan. It’s a beautiful and pragmatic way to add some natural light, which made a lot of sense before electricity. The window can also be rectangular.
Georgian doors have six plain panels. The body of the door is almost austere – but it isn’t left that way for long. Dubliners have traditionally decorated their doors with ornate brass door knockers and painted their doors in a vibrant color. The city could have had rows of very plain doors, each like the next, except that wouldn’t really suit the people of Dublin. It’s a city of literature, music and art – as the many songs about Dublin and stories set there – not to mention the number of Irish gifts that pay homage to the city – demonstrate. The doors became another outlet for creativity – a chance to make something very plain into something elegant, unique and gorgeous. Dubliners have done this so well for so long that their doors are now a cherished icon of their city.
Irish Gifts for the Home
A traditional brass door knocker is beautiful way to weave your Irish heritage into your everyday life at home. They also make a stunning wedding gift or housewarming present. As soon as someone arrives at the door, they can see the person who lives there feels connected to Ireland and celebrates that connection with style and flair. Just like generations of Dubliners, the person with a Irish door knocker is making a creative statement with their home.
Door knockers come in a variety of styles featuring Celtic motifs such as the beloved Claddagh and the trinity knot. They might feature the Irish word fáilte, which means welcome. Brass looks stunning against a door stained in a natural wood shade or one painted a rich, dramatic shade of green, blue, red or purple. They really stand out and look elegant on a black door.
A front door is an important part of the first impression people get when they arrive at your home. Irish gifts such as brass door knockers or plaques are a way to make sure that first impression says something meaningful.