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Step through 10 archways to amazing places

From graffitied California streets to idyllic Irish villages, archways frame the world.

August 11, 2016 | Latest Photo Prev Next
Wicklow, a town in Ireland.Wicklow, a town in Ireland.Photo: davida3 / Flickr
August 11, 2016 | Latest Photo

Unlike doors, archways aren't really about practicality. They can't be opened or closed. When you walk through an archway, you don't walk through a solid barrier. Instead, you walk through a psychological barrier that makes you feel like you're in a new place. We'd like to invite you to walk through our digital archway and discover some captivating structures we've found around the world.

Knockpatrick Gardens, near Foynes, a city in IrelandKnockpatrick Gardens, near Foynes, a city in Ireland. (Photo: IrishFireside/Flickr)

Ireland's Knockpatrick Gardens spans three acres and is nearly 100 years old – almost 33 years for every acre! Plants like azaleas, himalayan blue poppies, magnolias, primula, tree ferns and rhododendrons grow here.

"If it is inspiration and solace you are looking for, you will find it in this paradise of fusion gardens, a paradise that all of us at some stage in our lives seek but very few of us ever find," wrote one of the garden's visitors on TripAdvisor.

archwayCaesarea, a town near the northern Israeli city of Haifa. (Photo: amira_a/Flickr)

This sunset, which has kindly decided to look like cotton balls soaked in watercolors today, belongs to a city with a lot of history. As you may have suspected from the name, Caesarea was a Roman city on the Mediterranean coast of Israel. It was a big commercial center; you could go there and find markets, stores, baths and public buildings, as well as sports competitions and plays.

In some ways, the city hasn't changed much. The place currently features beautiful homes, beaches and entertainment. Whenever you're on the edge of the Mediterranean, you'll always have an amazing view.

Roman ruinsRemains of the ancient Roman aqueduct in Caesarea at sunset. (Photo: vvvita/Shutterstock)

archwayLos Angeles, California. (Photo: mcflygoes88mph/Flickr)

Not all archways are sophisticated structures reminiscent of ancient Roman architecture. You might pass by this graffiti-covered archway while traveling through Los Angeles.

The place has fallen into disrepair and is now covered in graffiti that's probably much more interesting and colorful than the original version. Maybe disrepair is in the eye of the beholder.

archwayFort Point, a neighborhood in Boston. (Photo: Brendan BO/Flickr)

You might expect this scene to be found somewhere in Asia, but the Japanese maples and circular archway are fooling you. A photographer took this photo in Boston while he was exploring the Boston Flower Show.

Or maybe it's not that surprising. The Boston Flower Show knows its business. Florists, landscape designers, nurseries, nonprofit organizations and schools all team up to build gardens "to increase the beauty, the bountiful harvest and the ecological friendliness of our gardens and outdoor spaces," said the show's website.

Old Lyme in southern Connecticut.Old Lyme in southern Connecticut. (Photo: CJ Oliver/Flickr)

Visitors used to be able to ride around this private, 184-acre estate on a steam engine. Today, Gillette Castle is open to the public, and visitors still come by.

The castle was built by American actor William Gillette, who played Sherlock Holmes in late 19th-century theater. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the original author of Sherlock Holmes, was actually working on a play about Holmes when Gillette read the entire Sherlock Holmes collection. After reading it, Gillette sent a telegraph to Doyle: "May I marry Holmes?"

Doyle responded, "You may marry him, or murder or do what you like with him."

archwaysChicago's West Side. (Photo: Chris/Flickr)

Enough traditional stone archways. Here's a set as modern as they get. Geometric metal arches seem to have grown at awkward angles up from the pavement on Chicago's West Side, creating a dynamic art installation that fits in well with the cityscape.

Chicago has long been a city famous for creative, modern architecture, and this series of artistic archways is certainly not breaking that mold. Indeed, it may literally have broken some molds.

Lava Beds National Monument in northeastern California.Lava Beds National Monument in northeastern California. (Photo: Beej Jorgensen/Flickr)

An archway's an archway, no matter how small. This fascinatingly framed shot was taken in northeastern California's Lava Beds National Monument. True to name, a volcano covers a good deal of this monument, and visitors come by to explore the various fascinating lava tube caves, which apparently are not dangerous at all.

Photographer Beej Jorgensen called this "The smallest archway in Lava Beds," and we suspect he's right.

Jenner, a town near San Jose, California.Jenner, a town near San Jose, California. (Photo: Lisa Ouellette/Flickr)

Photographer Lisa Ouellette wasn't having the best day. On the California Coast, winter can "wet and wild or dry and mild," she wrote on Flickr, and she wasn't too excited about the dry winter. Luckily, the beautiful patterns in the water and rocky archway took her mind off it.

"I had two lovely days of coastal paddling this weekend, in spectacular weather," she wrote.

Castle of Belver in northern Portugal.Castle of Belver in northern Portugal. (Photo: José Carlos Babo/Flickr)

Looking at archways through an archway? This might be getting too crazy.

Portugal's Castle of Belver was built in the Middle Ages as an easy way to access the Tagus River, and construction ended in 1212. Centuries of Camelot-style brilliance followed until the castle went into decline in the 19th century. Since then, the castle has been restored and become a great place to take photos.

What you see is, in some ways, all about what you choose to look at, and archways make that choice for you.

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