Doors of Churches

Doors Of Churches The principal outer doors of a church seem to have been in ancient times at the west, if the church was so built that the altar was at the east end, or, at any rate, in the end facing the altar. In a basilican church of three aisles there were for the most part three western doors. In Constantine's great "Church of the Savior," at Jerusalem, the three doors faced the east. The great Church of St. Sophia, at Constantinople, had nine doors between the narthex and the nave. As these were covered with silver, not only were they called the "Silver Doors," but the same term came to designate the corresponding doors of other churches, although not so decorated. The great western doors of the nave were called the "Royal Gates;" and when the church had a narthex, the western doors of this were also called "Royal Gates." The "Beautiful Gates" 'were supposed by Goar to be the gates which separate chorus and trapeza; by Ducange, those which separate nave from narthex; and by Neale, the outer gates of the narthex. The "Angelic Gate" was one which allowed a person to enter the trapeza so as to draw near the choir.

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