10 Architectural Staircases That Define Beauty And Ingenuity

OT Staff

Stairs Of Wonder

Staircases serve a practical purpose and often add to a space's visual appeal. However, in the case of the most exquisite staircases, their functionality often takes a back seat to their sheer beauty, leaving us in awe. These ten staircases worldwide are must-visit travel destinations.

The Vessel, New York City | Shutterstock

Tulip Stairs, Queen's House, London

The Tulip Stairs is a spiral staircase in the Queen's House, Greenwich. Designed by Inigo Jones in the 17th century, it's Britain's first self-supporting spiral stair. It's a masterpiece of English architecture with wrought ironwork and a spiralling form.

Tulip Stairs, Queen's House | Shutterstock

Vatican Museums Spiral Staircase, Vatican City

Designed by Giuseppe Momo in 1932, the double helix staircase is a remarkable blend of Renaissance and modern design at the Vatican Museums. With an ornate balustrade and smooth curvature, it serves both functional and aesthetic purposes.

A view of the Vatican Museums Spiral Staircase | Shutterstock

Tiger and Turtle – Magic Mountain, Duisburg

This staircase is a unique stairway art installation in Duisburg, Germany, by Heike Mutter and Ulrich Genth. It resembles a roller coaster but is a walkable sculpture with a looping structure and panoramic views.

A view of the Tiger and Turtle staircase | Shutterstock

The Spanish Steps, Rome

Francesco de Sanctis and Alessandro Specchi designed the Spanish Steps in the 18th century. This iconic landmark of Rome is a sweeping Baroque stairway consisting of 135 steps, popular for gatherings. The house where the English Romantic poet John Keats spent the last months of his life faces the staircase.

A look at the Spanish Steps of Rome | Shutterstock

Sagrada Família Staircase Towers, Barcelona

Barcelona's Sagrada Família basilica, designed by Antoni Gaudí, contains unique spiral staircases within its towers. These stairs, which reflect Gaudí's surreal and organic style, wind up the towers of the basilica and provide stunning views of the city.

A view of the Sagrada Família Staircase Towers | Shutterstock

Minaret Staircase, Great Mosque of Samarra, Samarra

The Great Mosque of Samarra, built in the 9th century, features a unique spiral minaret staircase that exemplifies early Islamic architecture and engineering.

A view of the stairs of the minaret of Great Mosque of Samarra | Shutterstock

Optical Glass Staircase, KPMG Building, Munich

This glass staircase is an innovative feat of engineering and design, located in the KPMG building in Munich. The staircase is crafted from a single sheet of glass, exemplifying modern architectural techniques and creating a mesmerising visual effect.

A look at the staircase of the KPMG Building | Shutterstock

Royal Ontario Museum Staircase, Toronto

The Royal Ontario Museum's Michael Lee-Chin Crystal, an addition designed by Daniel Libeskind, boasts a stunning crystalline staircase that contrasts the original museum building. The museum is home to a world-class collection of 13 million artworks, cultural objects, and natural history specimens, and it is featured in 40 gallery and exhibition spaces.

A top view of the Royal Ontario Museum Staircase | Shutterstock

Aga Khan Museum Staircase, Toronto

Toronto's Aga Khan Museum, designed by Fumihiko Maki, showcases modern Islamic architecture through a stunning contemporary staircase that blends traditional aesthetics with modern forms.

A view of the Aga Khan Museum Staircase | Shutterstock

Staircase Of The Loretto Chapel, Santa Fe

The Loretto Chapel in New Mexico is known for its miraculous spiral staircase, built in the 1870s. With no visible means of support, legends attribute its construction to divine intervention.

A look at the Staircase of the Loretto Chapel, Santa Fe | Shutterstock

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