Have you ever noticed the Door of the Dead in the historic center of San Quirico? There are two of them, just a few meters away; others, really rare, can be found in Umbria.
Via Dante Alighieri, in the monumental downtown area: one is located next to Fattoria Chigi (in the vicinity of a bar), the other not far from Palazzo Lemmi, in front of the Collegiate Church. They date back to the Middle Ages, but what were they used for?
In truth, there are two interpretations.
The first was that when the corpse had to leave the dwelling, the main door was closed and the dead person was made to pass through the secondary door, which was dismantled and remoulded for the occasion.
The second, relates to the safety of the building’s inhabitants: during the passage of opposing factions, the main door was closed and people passed through the “dead man’s door,” which, thanks to its high step raised above street level, allowed people to ascend only with the use of a stool that was then withdrawn inside.
While the intruders had to bow their heads and raise their legs-a slowdown in entry, which allowed the sentry (i.e., ‘the dead man’) who stood inside guarding the home, to intervene and prevent intrusion.