“Bridal doors“ in Altes Land
Wonderful handmade wooden doors
A hallmark of houses in Altes Land is the “bridal door“ to be
opened only from the inside. This door lead to a room called
“Kofferkammer” where the bride’s trousseau was stored in an
ornamented wooden coffer with locks of wrought iron. It was so to
speak the treasure chamber where the most precious goods were
The “bridal door” was opened only on two different occasions: In times the groom carried his bride over the threshold (together with the bride’s trousseau in a hope chest or a coffer) in their new home and in case of death when the dead body of the family member was carried out of the house.
It was also allowed to open the door in an emergency. Traditional costumes, jewellery and other valuable goods which were stored in the “Kofferkammer” could very quickly be removed out of the house in the event of a fire.
The wooden “bridal doors” are single- or double-leaf doors, horizontally divided and richly ornamented with carvings. There is a crest bearing the name of the homeowner in the middle above the transom, separating the transom window. The transom windows are often engraved with leaping horses surrounded by flowers and tendrils spilling out of a cornucopia.