Very often one sees an interesting architectural feature but seldom find the reason why we see this in so many houses. Old houses often features beautiful fanlights. It is so called because it is fan shaped. Usually situated above entrance doors to houses.
The entrance halls to old houses used to be dark places. The window above the doorway let in light into an otherwise dark area. Usually the fanlight had a small little window sill where an oil lamp could stand at night. In that way the lamp will light the entrance hall as well as the stoep (veranda) for nighttime visitors.
The entrance window was often in square form as well.
Official buildings and churches will often have very elaborate windows.
Here we can see the built in lamp where the lamp would usually stand.
Victorian buildings had windows around the door to let in more light.
Beautiful lead glass and stain glass windows often finish off a perfect invitation to a welcoming home.