Round and round: 16 stunning spiral staircases

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)

Spiral staircase - Melk Abbey - Stift Melk - Benedictine abbey in Austria

Photo thanks to Martin Haesemeyer

 

Queen’s House at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England

Queen's House at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich

Photo thanks to George Redgrave

 

Vatican Museums – Musea Vaticani – Muzea Watykańskie

Spiral stairs of the Vatican Museums, in Vatican City, Italy. It was originally designed by Giuseppe Momo in 1932.



Spiral staircase - Vatican Museums - Musea Vaticani

Photo thanks to Maciek Lulko

 

Point Hicks Lighthouse – Gippsland, Victoria, Australia

Point Hicks Lighthouse, Gippsland, Victoria

Photo thanks to Alan

 

Phare d’Eckmühl – Point Penmarc’h Light – Saint-Pierre Light in France (lighthouse – 1890s)

Phare d'Eckmühl - Point Penmarc'h Light - Saint-Pierre Light - France

Photo thanks to Martin Burns

 

Spiral staircase in the Monument to the Great Fire of London – England (1670s)

Spiral starcase in the Monument to the Great Fire of London

Photo thanks to Tom Page

 

St Stephen’s Basilica – Basílica de San Esteban in Budapest (c1905)

Basílica de San Esteban in Budapest

Photo thanks to Danail Nachev

 

MORE
Oversharing? Why you may not want to post every photo
The Oriel Staircase at the Rookery Building – Chicago

The Oriel Staircase at the Rookery Building - Chicago

Photo thanks to Chris Smith / OutofChicago.com

 

Spiral staircase up the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France (building dates to 1836)

Spiral staircase up the Arc de Triomphe
Photo thanks to Chris Waits



 

The Heal’s Building, Tottenham Court Road, London

The Heal's Building, Tottenham Court Road, London

Photo thanks to Craig Morey

 

The Magic Circle staircase, London

The Magic Circle staircase, London

Photo thanks to Chris Mear

 

Mechanics’ Institute Library, San Francisco

Mechanics' Institute Library, San Francisco

Photo thanks to Thomas Hawk

 

Old State House Boston Spiral Staircase

The spiral staircase in the historic Old State House in Boston.

Old State House Boston Spiral Staircase

Photo thanks to Joey Lax-Salinas / twitter.com/joeybls

 

Spiral at the BC Cancer Research Building

Spiral at the BC Cancer Research Building

Photo thanks to Benjamin Random

 

Skyscraper staircase in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Skyscraper staircase in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Photo thanks to Gert Swillens

 

London – Piccadilly Circus spiral staircase

London - Piccadilly Circus spiral staircase

Photo thanks to Andrew

 

Beckford’s Tower in Bath, England (c1827)

Beckford's Tower in Bath, England

Photo thanks to Nicola Jones



More Stories
Copying and reading the book of life inside one cell, accurately

Pin It on Pinterest