8 Spectacular Staircases From Across The Globe We’d Gladly Give Up The Elevator For!
Most people think of staircases as a terrifying combination of concrete and exhaustion, to be used only in case of a fire. But have you ever thought that these architectural staples could be works of art to be enjoyed? If you haven’t, these beautiful staircases from around the world may change your mind.
1. Villa Farnese, Caprarola, Lazio
Built in 1559, Architect Jacopo Vignola’s helix staircase is supported by 30 pairs of Doric, Ionic and Corinthian columns. Needless to say, it makes a grand statement.
2. Gaztelugatxe, Spain
The Stairs Above The Sea is a man-made stone staircase on the small islet of Gaztelugatxe that connects the island to the mainland. The stairway leads to chapel dating back to the 9th or 10th century, after a climb of almost 235 steps.
3. Augustusburg Castle, Brühl
The most extraordinary of all German Rococo staircases can be found at the Augustusburg Castle in Brühl, built by architect Balthasar Neumann. Though most of the marble is in fact imitation, the overall visual effect is stunning.
4. Fort de Roovere, Netherlands
The Moses Bridge Stairs is, a discreet sunken bridge, cut into the waters of the moat that surrounds the fort. The bridge has two dams on each end, with two sets of stairs as a part of the bridge for the ascent and descent. The name is quite justified, don’t you think?
5. 16th Avenue, San Francisco
The 16th Avenue Tiled Steps was a neighbourhood wide project where people got together and donated to change 163 steps into a work of art. Over 220 neighbours contributed handmade tiles and over 300 people helped to embed them within the mosaic. The mirror-like tiles make for a spectacular sight as they glow in the moonlight, and are particularly beautiful in the rays of the rising or setting sun.
6. Graz, Austria
To get to the Schlossberg clock tower, Graz’s main attraction one must climb up the Schlossberg Stairs. But the staircase isn’t just a means to an end. Boasting of 260 steps cut back and forth into the face of the hill, it’s a wonder in its own right.
7. Sicily, Italy
The Staircase of Santa Maria del Monte can be found in the town of Caltagirone. Built in the 1600’s, each of its 142 steps is decorated with a different hand-painted ceramic tile. Twice a year this staircase transforms into a giant canvas when locals use flowers or candles to illustrate images of patron saints and other local themes on it.
8. Abhaneri, India
Chand Baori is a step well, the largest of its kind, built by King Chanda in the 9th centuries. It was created to collect rainwater in the arid state of Rajasthan and with 3,500 perfectly symmetrical, narrow steps, it’s no wonder that it is an architectural wonder. The play of light and shadow on the steps is what makes it so captivating.
If ever there was a “Stairway to Heaven”, it’s got to be one of these!
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