A great deal of history is preserved in the antique doors of Saudi Arabia
The entrance to a home or building is one of the most significant works of construction in Saudi Arabia. The kingdom’s most ancient buildings still stand high in most historical villages and remote cities where there is
something unusually flattering about their beautifully-crafted doors.
There is always an exciting detail or a vibrant pattern that makes them bait to most shutterbugs. The city of Al-Balad, commonly known as Old Jeddah, hosts a wide range of timeworn buildings with some colourful yet sophisticated doors adding to the old architectural elegance. What is exciting about the craftsmanship of these doors is that they are largely based on Hijazi or Islamic architectural patterns. But what makes these doors a real treat to the eye is that they are mostly crafted and painted by hand in traditional ways.
Many bedouin villages in the Eastern, Western and Southern provinces are known to have a lot of these old doors. Artisans of these doors often tell a story through each of their designs. They believe it to be a sort of an art, where every tool etched into the carving and every stroke of brush voices a meaning beyond mere physical form.
Apart from the villages that still boast traditional architecture, the houses in the richer cities also convey something through their majestic-detailed entrances. These larger palace-like doors display a great deal of Islamic architecture although not many of them are handcrafted by artists.
The Asir region of the Kingdom is historically known for its artisanal handicraft and tribal architecture. More often than not, the hand-painting goes beyond their doors to the outer walls and inner fortifications including the furniture, adding colourfulness to their lives.
By: Fadia Jiffry