Alexandriyskie Dveri were the first in the human history?
History does not remember the name of the first man who have thought of changing big stones used to close doorways with flat wooden panels. But it is definitely known when the door became to look like we see it today.
Let’s go back to third century B.C. to the Egyptian valley in the lower reach of Nile. Here Alexander the Great have decided to build the greatest city of the ancient world – Alexandria. Alexander, when decided to build the unprecedented city drew he directions of the streets himself and pointed the locations for churches, squares and main gate of the city – the sea port. His ideas were brought to life by the best architects and scientists of that time. A united master plan for the city was created. Under the guidance of Dinocrates (who was a famous architect back then) location of blocks, streets, squares, palaces, public buildings, multi-stores living houses, theatres, baths was carefully planned. Main street of the city was 5 kilometers long and 30 meters wide that allowed for an avenue of trees in the middle. City was planned with a developed system of water supply and sewage. Alexandria was planned to become the largest transit port of the Mediterranean, key link for trade with Egypt, Africa, India and European countries. For docking of the ships from all over the world fantastic for that time port infrastructure was built.
First door factories
First important detail: interior doors were first invented by Alexander’s architects. Before Alexandria was built doorways were usually covered by curtains or beads. There were only entrance doors. Ancient cities were built without order, without plan. Streets were narrow, with different width. Alexandria became the first city that started from a well-thought plan and standards starting from the width of the streets, the same size of blocks, standard 2-3 story residences. For the first time standard sealing heights, doors and window sizes were introduced. This allowed to produce materials for building purposes in big quantities and using the same technology. Before Alexandria was built every door and window were custom-made for each individual house.
Special woodworking teams were founded. Those teams after few years have grown into the first door manufacturing plants.
Doors were made for mass market and elite – for distinguished customers. Mass-market doors were veneer covered. Veneer was invented in Egypt 1,5 thousand years before Alexandria was built. This cuts of valuable lumber were found in Tutankhamun tomb.
Expensive doors were made out olive trees lumber. This material was chosen on purpose – according to Alexander’s plan the city had to stand for many centuries and only the best and long lasting materials were used for the most important buildings. Olive oil timber is very strong and resistant to decay. At the same time it was very difficult to work with the tools of that time. Also the maximum diameter of the olive tree is not bigger then 15sm, so joiners as a result could work only with thin boards, that they turned into marvels that were destined to live through centuries. To make one doors they needed several trees. The whole olive forests were cut down to supply door factories with necessary material.
It is amazing but a few of those doors survived to the present time. 200 kilometers away from Alexandria in the museum in Coptic quarter in Cairo some of those doors are on display. You can learn more about it from our movie “Traveling to Alexandria” that you can watch in our nearest store or on-line at www.aldoor.ru.
Architects of Alexandria had their timetable and woodworking teams – obligations for door manufacturing and guaranteed orders for many years. They had to work for 25 long years to finish the first stage of the city construction. During those years first woodworking teams have grown into an industry.
Alexandriyskie Dveri in Europe
Very soon owners of construction companies in Alexandria have started to think; what will happen to them when Alexandria will be built? They did not want to stop their production.
And they had only one way in front of them: to Europe, which was closely tied with Alexandria by trade relations. Many years will come before the first European door based on Alexandria design were made. Before that Alexandria was shipping it’s door to Europe. In the minds of Architects and construction workers brand “Doors from Alexandria” was an etalon for 200 years after the first door from Alexandria was installed in Europe. And there is a strong proof of that. At the beginning of our era new blocks in Byzantium were built with Alexandria doors. While digging out Pompeii a lot of doors from Alexandria were found. Probably those doors were manufactured in Europe but they kept the name.
By the way the word “door” was the same in many languages and it also came from Alexandria.
Even now in many languages the word “door” sounds very similar to old Egyptian “dauer”. Only in Italian and Spanish it was replaced by “porta” – the original meaning “entrance to the city” or “city gates”.
«Back in Egypt». French «Alexandriyskie Dveri».
For the third time in history doors from Alexandria were reborn in Europe in 18-19 century in France during Napoleon. His expedition to Egypt have resulted in a huge interest towards the history of Ancient Egypt. A large number of historical monuments were gathered and brought to Europe. Institute of Egypt was founded in France in 1798. It played a huge role in studying monuments of Ancient world and Alexandria. Separate division in art and architecture was founded which was called “Egypt return”. The history and architecture of Alexandria was a base for empire style.
This new style became popular very fast due to the new economic policy of Napoleon for conquered countries. French products were exported to controlled European states by force. Largest portion of it contained furniture and doors.
Egypt was fashionable at that time, so furniture and doors were named “from Alexandria”. Many 19th century buildings are boasting doors from Alexandria.
Fourth generation of «Alexandria doors»
In 1995 Alexandria have revealed one of it’s secrets to the world: in the current city limits, under water Cleopatra’s palace was found. The last Pharaoh of the free Egypt brought a new wave of interest to Egyptian culture.
The same year doors from Alexandria were reborn in the name of our company. History shows that doors from Alexandria were always the best and absolute for it’s time. For the first time produced according to the draft they set an example for all the other doors, produces worldwide.
Interior doors from Alexandria are the FIRST in the human history!!!
And armed with Alexander the Great’s motto “Constant leadership” we are constantly moving forward…