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Fleur de Lis Doorways


Doors have always held symbolic meaning. Entering a palace, temple, noble home or a simple hut often meant following certain protocols. The god Janus - the two-headed God - was used in Roman doorways to see in and out. Perhaps no city in America has more photogenic - or more photographed - doorways than New Orleans.

Simple doors from 19th century working class shotguns are often made of wood with a window and architectural detail surrounding it. Quite often, a fleur de lis will grace the door or the mantel above a portal. On the opposite side of town, Massive leaded glass windows in the Garden District and Uptown contain patterns that often including the fleur de lis.

Because of the tropical climate, porches in New Orleans and surrounding communities represent an "extra room" where news and gossip can be spread between neighbors. Decorating porches and doorways as if they were extensions of the house is not only common - it's expected. Throughout the Gulf South and in Western and Northern Louisiana, the fleur can be found on porches as bric a brac or flags. The fleur claims the space as a portion of local pride - a sign that the people who live here live here.