One of the oldest and strongest fencing materials in the world is wrought iron. While the use of iron began as early as the Middle Ages, primarily for swords and other weaponry, it wasn’t until the 12th century when blacksmiths began to use intricate processes to liquefy the durable metal and forge it into ornate railings, fences, and gates. The malleability of the wrought iron made it a popular fencing choice throughout history. Wrought iron fences are used in modern times to add an air of sophistication and luxury to commercial and residential properties.
Avid travelers can draw inspiration from some iconic wrought iron gates and fences erected around opulent palaces worldwide. These grand and luxurious locations are rich in history and beauty. Visit these amazing locations to see just how much a wrought iron fence can enhance your property on a much smaller scale.
1. Palace of Versailles’ Golden Gates – Paris, France
In the gilded, glitzy fashion of Parisian royals, the Golden Gates at the Palace of Versailles is the most eye-catching gate on our list. While the original Golden Gates were torn down during the French Revolution under King Louis XIV, the replicas, erected in 2008, are just as decadent.
The original gates were wrought iron, but the replica is made from steel coated in over 100,000 gold leaves. The impressive replication was made in the Baroque style and took nearly two years to complete. After almost 200 years without the iconic gates on the palace grounds, tourists can delight at an opportunity to visit the opulent attraction.
2. Buckingham Palace Gates – London, UK
Perhaps the most iconic location on our list, Buckingham Palace, is surrounded by some staggeringly beautiful wrought iron gates. They were commissioned in 1905 to the founder of the Bromsgrove Guild of Applied Arts, Walter Gilbert. You might be familiar with the enchanting “changing of the guards” ceremony performed daily around the palace walls for tourists to see.
The gates are adorned with a regal wrought iron depiction of the Royal Coat of Arms. These gorgeous gates also feature detailed calligraphy, impressively precise wrought circles, and stunning gold spear top accents fit for a queen. The palace itself is breathtaking, but the gates are truly their own spectacle to behold.
3. Paramount’s Bronson and Melrose Gates – Los Angeles, CA
Movie lovers who visit the Paramount Pictures studios’ grounds will have the chance to check out some other impressive wrought iron gates. Often featured on the guided tours around the studio lot, the Bronson and Melrose Gates are two of the main access points to the grounds.
The Bronson gate features tall, ornate, turret-like patterns and cut-outs along the top. The Melrose gate completely blocks off the entrance when closed, with wrought iron designs reminiscent of birds and sun rays. They are spectacular feats of ironworking that are well worth checking out on your next trip to the sunny state of California.
4. Belvedere Palace Gates – Vienna, Austria
While Belvedere is probably most notable for its immaculate gardens and expansive collection of Gustav Klimpt originals, visitors should take stock of the spectacular palace gates before visiting the museum and palace grounds in Vienna, Austria.
The wrought iron gates at Belvedere Palace were welded into intricate damask floral patterns that cast picturesque shadows across the pavement as the evening light emerges. The elegant gates are also adorned with multiple crosses and traditional Austrian crown jewel shapes.
Interwoven within the bustling streets of Vienna, the Belvedere Palace became a museum in 1776 and was one of the first museums open to the public at the time.
The main gate in front of the Upper Belvedere Palace bears the crest of Prince Eugene of Savoy, who the Baroque-style palace was built for as a summer home in the 1700s. The majestic gate, the wrought iron fences, and the gorgeous gardens, like the Orangery, are a must-see for garden lovers and fence fanatics.
5. Catherine Palace – St. Petersburg, Russia
If you ever find yourself in the capital city of Russia, travel a few kilometers south to the town of Tsarskoye Selo to see the extraordinary Catherine Palace. Built in the exceptionally over the top, theatrical Rococo style, this palace was the summer home of many powerful Russian tsars.
The gates at Catherine Palace are painted on either side with striking blue stripes similar to the architecture seen throughout St. Petersburg. Pieces of the wrought iron are cast in gold, with an emphasis on nature-inspired appliques like leaves and flowers. The structure was nearly destroyed during World War II, but has since been restored back to its former glory.
6. The Graceland Gates – Memphis, TN
One of the most exciting attractions on our list for music lovers in America is the late, great Elvis Presley’s home compound, Graceland. Located in Memphis, Tennessee, visitors can view the intricately detailed Graceland Gates as they enter the property.
The gates were installed less than a month after Elvis purchased the property, costing only $1,339 at the time. These particular gates are such a sight to behold because of their unique design. The gates were welded in the pattern of sheet music written by The King himself, and fans of his music flock to the venue year-round to get a glimpse of the famous gates.
Wrought iron gates and fences have been designed and implemented around the world for hundreds of years. The ornamental wrought iron gates of famous palaces worldwide can inspire your next residential or commercial fencing project with their ornate designs and intricate details.
While it might not be practical to coat your backyard fence with lavish gold leaf or adorn it with your family’s coat of arms, wrought iron gates and fences can add an air of sophistication and elegance to any location. Modern wrought iron fences and gates are manufactured in a wide array of patterns and designs to fit whatever aesthetic you prefer. Enhance your curb appeal and experience a small sample of the decadence of centuries past by installing wrought iron products on your property.