Famous Doors Worth Putting on Your Bucket List

10 unique entrances from around the world.

By: Ryan Reed
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Gates of Paradise

Created by sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti between 1425 and 1452, this stunning door serves as the main gate of the Florence Baptistery in Italy. The 17-foot-tall bronze door features detailed scenes from the Old Testament in several frames and is regarded as a masterpiece by artists and historians.

221B Baker Street

221B Baker Street may seem inconsequential at first, but any fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes books will recognize this address right away. The address was the fictional home of the detective and today, visitors can tour the Sherlock Holmes Museum in London, which does a great job incorporating key design elements from the books and memorabilia.

The Holy Door

The Holy Door is one of the entrances to Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City and is only open during a Holy Year, which is declared by the Pope and typically occurs every 25 years. The door is hidden behind a cement wall until the Holy Year and on the first day, the barrier is removed and visitors can walk through and experience a symbolic transformation.

Imperial Gate

Made of oak with a bronze frame, the Imperial Gate (or Emperor Door) is the largest inside Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey, and was once reserved only for the emperor and his procession. The door dates to the 6th century and legend has it that it is made of wood from Noah’s Ark.

10 Downing Street

10 Downing Street is one of the most important political buildings in the world. Since 1735, the location has been where British prime ministers have worked, and sometimes lived, while guiding the country through good times and bad. The building is unassuming from the exterior but behind the famous black door is a large labyrinth of rooms and staircases once traversed by Winston Churchill and other world leaders.


Anyone who has seen The Hobbit series will recognize this unique door. What you may not know though is that you can visit the home of Bilbo Baggins and other locations featured in the movies in New Zealand. Hobbiton features 44 Hobbit holes that were originally built for the trilogy and visitors can tour the grounds and see the stunning detail in person.

Portals of Notre Dame Cathedral

The Notre Dame Cathedral is one of the most visited places in Paris, and tourists wait in long lines to pass through the three portals on the west facade. Each portal depicts various characters and scenes: on the left is the Portal of the Virgin, in the center is the Last Judgment, and on the right is the Portal of Saint Anne.

Royal Palace in Fez

There’s no shortage of beautiful architecture in Morocco, but visitors are drawn to the seven towering bronze doors of the Royal Palace. Unfortunately, unless you are royalty, you’re not likely to get past the doors (or guards), but the colorful facade of the 17th-century palace is worth visiting regardless.

Columbus Doors

Standing 17 feet high and weighing 20,000 pounds, the bronze Columbus Doors were designed by sculptor Randolph Rogers and can be found at the main entrance to the U.S. Capitol Building. The doors are unique because of the frames that depict the life of Christopher Columbus, with the largest scene at the very top showing him landing in the new world.

Abbey Road Studios

When it comes to music history, few sites are more legendary than Abbey Road Studios. Formerly known as EMI Studios, countless artists have walked through the doors of the Georgian-style townhouse over the years, including The Beatles, who recorded most of their music there during the '60s. The band’s 1969 album, Abbey Road, features some of the most iconic songs ever created and was such a hit the studio was renamed in 1970. The album cover art featuring the four members of The Beatles on a crosswalk outside the studio is a source of inspiration for fans who make the pilgrimage to see the site.

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