This is a seven-part-story series on the magic of Merida, Mexico rated as one of the best cities to travel to in 2022.
The magic of opening a door that could lead to something entirely different never escapes me and is why I am so fascinated by the architectural designs of doors from all over the world. I am drawn by the intricacies of both new and older colonial style doors on homes, churches and buildings. In Mexico, doors represent both protection and pride as well as an invitation to come in. Walking through Merida’s streets photographing so many captivating doors, I could not help wandering about the history and cultural elements that built this unique craftmanship…
Why Doors ?
Let’s start with my fascination over doors and what they symbolize across cultures, religion, literature, and films. Doors and doorways are associated with either an entrance or an exit. They go back as far as the formation of Egyptian tombs where doorways were built to allow for free passage of the souls. In our literature and in religion, doors symbolize new beginnings, transitioning into a better place, entering a new phase in one’s life, or an opportunity that was not there before and now is. But doors can also be a sign of danger, of intimacy and of secrets, as portrayed in movies and literature. I love that they are mysterious as we wander what could be behind the door. Sometime back, I wrote a story on doors titled Will Doors Ever Rule the World …. A Photographic Exploration where I also included 30 fabulous looking doors from my travels. Click here to read it.
As mentioned earlier, many of Mexico’s colonial towns view doors and windows as an extension of their history and culture. Both Mexico and Latin America are known for colorful, charming and ornamented doors that represent the character and soul of Latin culture. Their restoration and modernization are part of a commitment to sustain them for future generations to enjoy. The design of many of these doors have both a strong Spanish and Moorish influence. This is also true of its windows. In fact, both reflect a vibrant past influenced and modernized by today’s architects in the construction and restoration of beautifully designed homes. What’s so interesting about Merida is the interplay between its past and emerging future, as many buildings are now experiencing a rebirth. These elements are ushering the city’s revival, making it a historic designation for all to visit.
How best can I describe Merida’s doors? You see a combination of new and worn wooden structures, lots of wrought-iron gates, ornate doorknobs, locks, and latches…all telling their own story. Many of these doors stand out against whitewashed and brightly colored walls …some new, some old or weathered from years of neglect. Regardless, their charm, warmth and personality attributes to a rich colonial past. My photos reflect the old and new. Just click the center of the photo to have a full view.
As a final note, I leave you with a quote about the symbolism of doors by John Barrymore for you to ponder on and inspire you.
“Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open.”