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Cypnet > Articles > House Doors of Cyprus

House Doors of Cyprus

They are gateways to different worlds. Doors have a shroud of mystery about them. They make us ask, what might be going on inside? They are defiant when closed but welcoming when open. There are those doors belonging to the rich which are embellished and carved and those belonging to the less well-off, rather plain and modest without much detail or decoration.

Doors are entrances into the private realm and exits out to the public realm. When I leave in the morning for my work the door closes behind me.


A feeling of outsideness prevails and I move into the public realm of pavements, people and streets. When I return home after my work I turn the key and open my door, enter and in a minute I am in the closed safety of my abode. Now a feeling of security prevails, the business of shutting out the world outside.

Nestling Season of Turtle

In this east Mediterranean region, the courtyard forms an important and integral part of the house and private life. Like an outside room the courtyard is a private outside space accessed through the most important door of the house and usually coming off the street. Here this front door, in two distinct halves, is often a door of wooden construction and painted in a bright colour. The door itself is paneled often with wrought ironwork covering opaque glazing behind. The top semi circular lintel section of the door has wrought ironwork combining circular and linear patterns in a light and artistic manner.

Another characteristic of many of the doors of Cyprus are the strong stone surrounds which act as a frame and hold the door in place. The stone always protrudes. It acts as part of the door “system” rather than the house itself. The door is always slightly recessed.

The variations are enormous and certainly worth this short study. On a note of comparative interest in Ireland, the Dublin tourist board made a colourful poster called the Doors of Dublin. Taken from the central city squares such as Merrion Square these Georgian doors from the 19th and 20th centuries had similar characteristics to the Doors of Cyprus.


On every level there was variation. Variety in two different basic sizes, a variety of stone frame positions, a variety of columns, architraves, window lights and wooden door paneling.

In the 21st century we seem to have lost the art of variety in embellishing our doors. Unfortunately today it seems to be sure that a door is just a door!


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