Doors can tell you a lot about a building – most importantly where to enter. But there are certain doors across the world that resonate with us in special ways and even represent not entrances to the shallow buildings we see but to something more symbolic and, well, impressive.
Holy Door of St Peter’s Basilica, Rome
The Pope only opens these ornately-panelled representations of Heaven’s gates once every 25 years.
Most of the time they’re sealed on the interior side by a brick wall, meaning the pontiff is traditionally supposed to pull his sleeves up and start swinging a hammer to get through.
In case you’re wondering, its next opening for pilgrims seeking to absolve themselves is due around 2025.
Columbus Doors, Washington
Originally planned as the eastern entrance to The Capitol, further extensions mean this door commemorating Christopher Columbus is now internal.
Just like many of the other impressive bronze doors of the building, they’re far too impractical to be used – the Columbus Doors are 17ft high and weigh more than 9 tonnes. At least they look nice.
221B Baker Street, London
Despite it being a work of fiction, Sherlock Holmes’ famous address has a door.
To reinforce this reality-bending oddness, a Victorian English bobby stands outside each day guarding this portal to Arthur Conan Doyle’s literary world.
10 Downing Street, London
We couldn’t not have Number 10 Downing Street in our list of famous doors.
HQ of the Government and official residence of the First Lord of the Treasury, the ultra-glossy black door (it’s made of bomb-proof metal now; the original was oak) is the only way in and out of the house.
There’s no keyhole on the outside, but security is hardly an issue as there’s always a police officer on guard.Adam Zulawski