Thursday Doors: Las Puertas de Oaxaca, Tres

The doors of Oaxaca, Mexico are as interesting, joyful, and unique as the people who live and work there. This third grouping of doors (my first two posts are here and here) are wide-ranging in design, and include doors from churches, businesses, galleries, museums, and a residence.    

Several commenters on my last post mentioned the bars in front of many of the doors and asked if that was indicative of the crime rate. Although we never felt unsafe during our stay in Oaxaca, crime does exist (like everywhere, unfortunately) and many people feel more comfortable with bars in front of their doors and windows. You’ll notice that most of the doors in this group don’t have bars (except to prevent injury), although one does have fire-breathing lizards to keep watch.  

Beautiful combination of colors on a residential exterior.
Carved wooden doors welcome the guests of this bed and breakfast.
A door through an arch.
No one is getting in or out through this ghost door.
I loved the light coming through this museum door.
This second floor door looked down on a huge sculpture of a fisherman.
First there’s love…
… then there’s marriage.
Brightly painted garage doors.
Fire-breathing lizards guard this shop.

Thursday Doors is a link-up of fellow door aficionados generously hosted by Norm Frampton. Head over to his blog and click on the rana azul (blue frog) to view all the amazing doors he and others have posted.

Author: Janis @

My blog is about travel, relationships, photography, and whatever else pops into my head (even, sometimes, issues surrounding retirement and aging).

83 thoughts on “Thursday Doors: Las Puertas de Oaxaca, Tres”

  1. These doors are really interesting – love the opening blue and yellow – even though that blue door seems to have a tiny lock? I see the mail slot and then the little hardware slot for a lock? –
    each door here is so different and I like the angle (artsy touch) and the most curious to me is the one with the secure grill/gate over the brick.

    1. There were a few of those “ghost doors” around Oaxaca. I guess it is the easiest way to block an existing door in an old stone building. This one was even more interesting since it also had iron bars (as if to make it even more secure).

      1. yes, the secure double layer.
        We have a lot of closed off doors and windows on old houses in my town (in VA) but have not seen the gate over them –

  2. The colors! So bright and unlike any that we see around here. I wonder if the bars on the doors are as much a tribute to early Spanish design as they are for protection per se. Great photos.

    1. I agree, Ally. I was kind of surprised that a few people asked about the bars and crime… it never occurred to me up until then. I think the bars – for the most part – add charm and a nice element of design.

      1. That’s so cool. When first viewing your photos, I took a moment to wonder if the door openings held glass, mirror or nothing at all. I settled on glass. Having them wide open is even more interesting!

  3. This is an awesome collection. As a woodworker the 2nd shot, that carved door, is by far my fave but it’s a very high-quality eclectic mix that you put together this week.
    Bravo 🙂

  4. I’m going to echo everyone else. This is a wonderful assortment of interesting and unique doors. You seem to have hit the motherlode of doors!

    Yes, I love the ghost door and the door within a door to a wedding, but the one that I keep going back to is the door in the archway. I love the composition of this photo. I’m assuming these are water wells with cups?

  5. I love all of these, although the garage doors wouldn’t be my personal choice. The vibrant colors are wonderful and the wooden B&B doors are gorgeous.


    1. I’m not sure I’d want that painted on my garage doors either but they fronted a shop that specialized in brightly painted carved animals so it worked for them. I love those carved wooded doors too.

  6. Janis, these doors and buildings are fun, fun, fun. Colors and artwork
    are outstanding. I love the lovebirds in front of those massive doors and looking into the church at a wedding. Hope the lovebirds are still together!

    The garage door is so creative and the fisherman statue is terrific.

    You don’t just take great shots Janis, your photos are unique because they’re never the same old–same old. You never fail to find a slightly different angle which puts your photos in a different category.

    So, I’m going off to spend some time in the ‘awaiting moderation’ file! It would be nice if you served ice tea to those of us who patiently wait to escape that file!! Lol.
    🔹 Ginger 🔹

    1. Thank you for your lovely compliments, Ginger! I really wish I could serve you iced tea while you waited in moderation. One of these days I’ll figure out how to guarantee that your comments will bypass that whole stage. In the meantime, please don’t give up!

    1. Thanks, Sue. Oaxaca is such a beautiful place and the doors are reflective of their vibrant and artistic culture. Even the doors that weren’t in such great shape still had a unique quality about them.

  7. Hey Janis! How great to see more of the amazing doors in Oaxaca! I particularly like the garage doors. And yes, as someone who visits Mexico a lot I agree that many of them use metal as either part of the structure or around it. And while we have never felt unsafe nor had a problem in the months that we have visited there, I realize it is a poor country and it might be tempting to those less fortunate to break in and take something. In most cases, it is a great deterrent. I also believe that lots of Mexican artists use metal to create so that might also be part of it. Either way, it is fun to see what imagination can do. Thanks for sharing! ~Kathy

    1. Hi Kathy! I know that you and Thom are big fans of Mexico too and appreciate the people and the culture. As Ally Bean said in an earlier comment, so much of the iron work was also part of the Spanish influence. Just like anyplace in the world, it’s important to make good choices… we never felt uncomfortable safety-wise while we were there.

  8. These are wonderful doors I especially like the second (carved) one and the colorful one at the top. I also like the gate and the gated ghost door.

      1. The gated ghost door does stir some memories. I have only ever done carving as part of a craft project, never as part of a piece of furniture. It requires skills and patience that I’m not sure I possess.

  9. I like the one with the giant coffee cups under the arch. What are they really? I don’t know, but the idea they hold gallons of coffee invites me further into the pathway leading to the door!

  10. These are so lovely Janis – they are all so colorful, yet the photo of light streaming through the museum doors is also magnificent in its own way.

  11. I’d have a very difficult time deciding which door I most admire, Janis! They are ALL so interesting. The “ghost door” is sure intriguing, isn’t it? 🙂

  12. This is amazing! My boyfriend was actually mentioning last week he would love to do an instagram with just doors, doors that open to beautiful places around the world. Love these pictures. How colorful and amazing

    1. Oh, I hope he does that! There are quite a few of us door lovers out here. When I see the doors in other countries – especially those in Latin America – they put the boring doors in the US to shame.

  13. This is quite an array of doors, wrought iron, and artwork. Nice. 🙂 I went to visit a friend who lived within the city of Phoenix several years back and noticed she and all of her neighbors had the bars on front windows and doors for safety and concrete walls around their rear boundaries. We are all susceptible to crime at all times, but I think if I could I’d choose to live where I didn’t need them.

    1. I think that bars on the windows can mean different things depending on the culture. I wouldn’t want to live in a US neighborhood where everyone had security bars on their windows either. In some areas of Mexico, iron bars are just a decorative flourish harkening back to the days of Spanish occupation. That’s not to say that there isn’t a huge disparity of wealth in Mexico (even bigger than in the US, I think) and some homeowners put up bars to protect themselves and their possessions.

  14. Very colorful post. Love the depth of field in the “door through an arch”. Are those basins of some sort in the foreground?

    1. In many Mexican villages, fresh water had to be brought in from a far-away source. These basins were built to deliver the water to the people (or, in this case, the convent since that was what the building used to be). Fortunately, when this old building was renovated, they kept much of the original structures.

  15. The problem with coming late to your doors party is that everyone else has already said the nice things I wanted to say. Darn. So, Janis, please assume ‘ditto’ from me to every one of the positive comments above.
    As for favourites, I love them all but can especially see the collage making possibilities with the B&B door. I’d slit it so that the doors would open and wouldn’t it be interesting to see what you might find behind them! Hmm… I’d like to do that. Would you be willing to sell me a high resolution copy of that photo, Janis?

    1. That sound like a wonderful idea! I’m on the road right now and I don’t know if I have a high res version with me. Let me see… if I have it I’ll send it right away. If not, it will have to wait until I get back. The only payment needed is a picture of your final creation. 🙂

  16. South American doors seem to celebrate the portal in ways American doors rarely do. We’re so dang boring up here in the north! Love the one looking down (?) at the sculpture. haha

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