I went searching for cool doors around Israel and was amazed by the art, beauty and variety I found.
I chose five each in Israel’s three largest cities — Jerusalem, Tel Aviv-Yafo and Haifa — to highlight for ISRAEL21c readers.
I’ve included a mix of doors, some notable for their intrinsic architectural beauty and others that stand out because of the striking street art that decorates them.
My first stop was Jerusalem, where the doors had a more antique feel as they were surrounded by light-colored Jerusalem stone.
1. This door is located in the city center on Mevo Arye Leib Hurwitz.
I was instantly mesmerized when my eye caught the bright rainbow colors. The artwork on the door depicts a beautiful colorful city with blue and orange trees, doves and stunning architecture. I love the contrast between the bold colors and the more natural tans and browns of the stone building.
2. The next door is the ornate entrance to the Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue in the ancient Jewish Quarter of the Old City.
The cream-colored stones perfectly complement the gold and brown on the door, and the triangular carved pattern makes it fascinating to touch and see. The two little dots in the center on the thick golden bar make the door feel inviting and alluring, as seeing them makes me think of pulling it open.
3. This is the door of a vintage house on Hamagid Street in Jerusalem’s German Colony. It is a stunning blue with patches of paler color and intricate shapes, divided into three sections.
Almost perfectly symmetrical, the door features mostly curved and circular shapes, with two rectangles in the middle and a door handle in the direct center, charming and inviting.
4. On Yoel Moshe Salomon Street, I saw this door with swirled metal pieces making up a quaint design, and I loved the variety in shapes and patterns.
A close look between the swirls reveals stunning ovals and triangles, and even some shapes that resemble squiggly stars of David.
5. This street-art decorated door below is located on Shomron Street in the famous Mahane Yehuda outdoor market.
The graffiti artist chose not to send one cohesive message, but what stands out the most is the giant letter aleph. The blue and yellow complement each other nicely and the more you stare at it the more you notice the scribbles and drawings. The eye is my favorite detail.
Next, I traveled around Tel Aviv in search of interesting doors and immediately sensed its artistic vibe.
1. This door on Moshe Matalon Street, in the Florentin district, is the entrance to the seafood bar and grill Pimpinella.
The neon yellow pairs nicely with the fading brown door and the green plant by the store’s window. This narrow, older looking door almost appears to be fake, but opens up to host a ton of bar and restaurant patrons.
2. Another door in Florentin caught my eye because it is very different from other graffiti-covered doors throughout the neighborhood.
Located on Zvulun Street, this one is peaceful and artistic, as it features a blue background with rainbow lines and squiggles and a little orange fish. I interpreted this as an under-the-sea type of masterpiece. I absolutely love the abstract feel and small details of color. There’s also a red protest sticker that reflects Israel’s current political crisis with a message to people passing by to resist dictatorship.
3. The next door is located in the Jaffa Port off Hamigdallor (Lighthouse) Street. Although I took the picture at night, you can see the beautiful work of the artist – an elegantly painted fish paired with a bird on the adjacent wall.
The artist beautifully highlighted the animals’ features like the eyes, wings and fins. The details on their bodies are fascinating. The blend of cool blues and greens with the warm yellow pairs the bird and fish so perfectly.
4. This door is located in the southern-central part of Yehuda Halevi Street. It uses extremely bold colors and a cartoonish style which makes it impossible to pass by without giving it a glance.
The artwork features every color of the rainbow between the food and funky background, with images of beloved food items like sandwiches and french fries and even the phrases you use when enjoying your food (“yummy” and “tasty”) to really drive the message home.
5. The door below is, surprisingly, the entrance to a (now closed) nightspot in Jaffa called The Chapel.
The building once served as the School of the Sisterhood of St. Joseph. The door itself is rather plain with an antique brown look separated into squares and rectangles, the top squares featuring a cross. What really stands out is how the door is part of a whole, with beautiful pillars and an arch featuring an exquisitely detailed leaf pattern.
Haifa is most famous for its gorgeous Bahá’í Gardens, but this northern city also has a strong street-art culture that spills over delightfully onto its doors.
1. On this door located in Haifa’s Lower City on Khatib Street, street artist Erck used bold colors to catch the attention of passersby.
There are many beautiful touches in this artwork. The pink hearts steaming from the chimney, the twinkling stars in the aqua-colored night sky, all tie together with the message of “All my love in vain.”
2. On this industrial door in the Lower City, street artists Erezoo and Zivink used a pretty pastel palette of pink, yellow, green and blue but also some darker and bolder hues to create a rather trippy image.
There appears to be a face behind a moving car and also a pipe and bird coming out of thin air, as the artists used different shapes and sizes to alter the viewer’s perception and make the piece abstract.
3. This door on Khatib Street was decorated by street artist Swan Er.
The color choice is magnificent, as the light teal and moss green complement the bright and dark magenta. It shows a man holding what appears to be a “strange fruit,” as the title implies, and gives viewers something to ponder.
4. On this unique door in Haifa’s Kiryat Rabin district on Shivat Tzion Street, artist Ze.MaNish used a cartoonish style and funky background to send a message that seems to have something to do with death.
There are angelic yet seemingly dead carrots floating around, and the big blue guy has his face ripped off and arms cut into sausages. I am a huge fan of the turquoise on top of the dark purple paired with the golden hoops.
5. Finally, we have this religious bas-relief on the main entrance door of the 19th century Stella Maris Monastery on Mount Carmel in Haifa.
Amazingly, this door does not feel flat as every detail is three dimensional, including the human figures, the star of David in the center, and the images surrounding it above. The door has subtle shades of blue, green and brown, and craftily includes only one pop of color in the child’s crown — the flowers.