More doors from the Durbar Square in Patan.
I went to a wedding last month. In Nepal, just a few thousand miles away. The bride was my boss when I worked in Delhi with Medecins Sans Frontieres in a clinic for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. I spent ten days in Kathmandu, Patan and Pokhara, the three largest cities in the country. There were three ceremonies – Shamanic, Buddhist and Hindu – on separate days, so there was plenty of time for door seeing.
These photographs are from the ancient town of Patan (pronounced “Pah’tn” with the emphasis on the first syllable). The locals also call it “Yala” and the official name is Lalitpur. It is also known as Manigal. Just to be clear. It was severely damaged five years ago in a major earthquake, but the Royal Palaces of Durbar Square have been repaired and several temples are clad with bamboo scaffolding.
The door jamb and header have been intricately carved with repeated designs and images of deities.
The jambs often sweep out into the brickwork like wings of the vehicle of Vishnu, Garuda. The King of Patan was the incarnation of Vishnu on Earth.
This post is the concluding part of last week’s submission.
So, walking further down the cobbled street, down the hill…
Across the River Wear from Durham Cathedral, South Street is a treasure trove for door enthusiasts.
More doors from South Street next week.
Durham is famous for its magnificent Norman cathedral, sited on a forested loop of the River Wear, next to the castle.
Palace Green, between the castle and cathedral, has lots of wonderful doors. The most famous door on the cathedral has a sanctuary knocker. Unfortunately it was being renovated when I visited, but here is the “dog tooth” zigzag moulding in the door arch. And a poster describing the flaming head knocker. People seeking sanctuary had 37 days to sort out their problems before they faced justice or were banished from the kingdom for ever – transported to the port of Hartlepool to sail to the continent.
Doors on the green:
Around the cloisters, there are more doors of interest. The monks used to do their laundry here and would hang their cassocks on the stone windows. The cloisters were utilised as a location in the Harry Potter films – the quadrangle where Harry magically releases Hedwig the owl from his hands in “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”, and again in the “Chamber of Secrets” where Harry, Ron and Hermione learn how to turn animals into water goblets.
Inside the cathedral, there is a door built into the huge clock.
Here’s a carpenter bee buzzing away in Pokhara, Nepal, last week.