The annals of history are richly illustrated with many astounding inventions. Some of the greatest and yet least appreciated inventions are complex architectural structures. Our ancestors brilliantly invented ways to create monumental keeps and cities without the use of many modern tools we now consider essential.
One such amazing achievement was the mastery of delicate balance using only carefully placed stones. The basic principle of keystones underlines the history of arched doors and entryways, granting us some of the time’s most elegant and impressive structures.
Early Appearances of Arches
The oldest examples of arches appear in the 2nd century BCE. Ancient Mesopotamians created the earliest arches, but it was the Roman Empire that would later begin to expand the essential concepts into more grandiose structures and popular use.
The use of arches in ancient structures is extremely interesting because of the genius application of physics, and little else. A true arch consists of stacked bricks topped with angled bricks to create a curve. The weight of the entire structure is designed to lean in and downward. When the keystone is placed at the top center of the arch, it offsets the pressure from above and the sides, creating a sturdy arch.
Best Historical Examples of Arched Doorways
As noted, the Romans were fond of dramatic architecture, and arches especially. Stone aqueducts and bridges still dot the Mediterranean and Europe as a reminder of the Romans’ conquests long ago. Thankfully, even with the fall of the Roman Empire, arches never vanished. Talented builders across the globe took up the torch and further implemented the idea to create high arched doors and windows. Some of the most impressive examples include cathedrals such as the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula in Belgium. The history of arched doors and entryways is still very much alive in modern structures across the globe and throughout all manner of stone relics still left standing.
Modern Arched Doors
Fortunately, these wonderful doors are far from gone. Today, arched doors still inspire a sense of timelessness and regal beauty with which other styles simply can’t compete. Many modern talented crafters and companies work hard to create authentic recreations for homes in need of a more antique touch. As more people begin to understand solid wood doors and the value they offer versus synthetic ones, we’ll only see more and more exciting ways history is making a comeback through architecture.