Embers – Haiku 2023 #ThursdayDoors

Main Entrance, St. Paul’s Outside The Walls Basilica, Rome – Image credit: ©  Stefano Valeri | Alamy

out of the embers

a strong wind crosses, two doors brooch

The Tree Of Life


Built atop the site of St. Paul’s grave/martyrdom during the reign of Emporer Constantine, and once the largest church in the world (until St. Peter’s Basilica was built) stands St. Paul’s Outside the Walls Basilica, Rome.

Fire devasted the original Basilica in 1832. The current neo-classic style building was consecrated in 1854.

The main door (featured above) was gifted to the church in 1931. It is 7.48 meters x 3.35 meters (24.5 feet by 10.9 feet) and made of bronze with silver inlays.

The cross is actually “The Tree of Life” carved into the bronze door in solid silver damascene (Damascus silver) and bedecked with lapis lazuli.

On either side of The Tree of Life are sculpted scenes from the life of St. Peter on the left and St. Paul on the right.

The older main doors made in 1070 AD have been restored and put back in service as the “seal” doors to the Basilica’s Holy Doors’ entrance (see older doors below).

Older Main Doors (circa 1070 AD), St. Paul Outside the Walls Basilica. Now used as the seal doors to the Basilica’s Holy Door. Image credit: Lawrence Op | Flickr

Trivia: The fire of 1832 was started apparently by two tin workers (some accounts state that it was one worker) attempting to repair the copper channels in the Basilica’s roof gutters.

Reportedly, one or, the two tin workers, having finished their labors for the night, left the heating pan for the copperwork atop the roof, confident that the embers in the pan had been extinguished.

Subsequently, a strong wind fanned the embers into a flame, and the resulting fire unfortunately decimated The Basilica.

Wider angle, Saint Paul’s Outside the Walls Basilica, Rome below:

St. Pauls Outside The Walls Basilica, Rome. Image credit: © silviacrisman | istockphoto

For more #ThursdayDoors visit, host Dan Antion – No Facilities

Teresa My Camera and I

Published by Suzette Benjamin

Positive thinker, inspirational, writer, faith

44 thoughts on “Embers – Haiku 2023 #ThursdayDoors

  1. Beautiful doors, beautiful words. Each well crafted and with a purpose. I always enjoy your posts, Suzette. I am glad they were able to restore the original doors, but I’m also glad someone gifted the basilica the beautiful new doors. Thanks, too, for the history on the fire. Sad, but interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. For some reason I was immediately drawn to these doors.

    I think its the style and reminds me of the church doors of one or two schools I taught at before.
    One was in Athlone the other District Six; there is a distinct familiarity I immediately felt.
    It’s the elements which speak to each other in the haiku, that makes it perfect.
    Oh the poor tin workers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, the style is quite modern, so your connection to a familiar door style makes perfect sense.
      Yes, the workers were unharmed, but the thought of how their decision affected an unfortunate accident would be deeply felt (I surmise)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yes, absolutely, modern would be the word.
        I’m sure there must have been repercussions
        Still they were part of the winds of change
        One of the schools is also pretty old, with the same aura as St. Paul’s Outside the Walls Basilica, Rome.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Well spotted Liz! The architecture is more Roman neoclassical than the classic gothic feel of many Basílicas. However, this Basílica has its formal status as one of the only four major basilicas in the world granted by The Holy See. Moreover, the Papal office has historically held this Basílica in high regard for what they believe to be its worldwide significance, spiritually.

      Liked by 1 person

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