The popularity of long and winding spiral staircases goes back more than a thousand years — although their origins seem to be from nearly a thousand years before that.
One of the earliest surviving examples of a spiral staircase is inside Trajan’s Column in Rome, which was completed in AD 113. But it was really in the years from 1066 (the time of the Norman conquest of England) to around 1500 that the circular stairwells were commonplace — often found in medieval stone castles.
Below are 16 examples of more modern spiral staircases — from around the 1600s to the modern day.
Spiral staircase at Melk Abbey (Stift Melk) Benedictine abbey in Austria (1700s)