For many people, there is something fascinating about staircases. Whether it’s because of their shape, their architectural design, or the uniqueness of their construction, staircases prove to be a wonder for young and old alike. All over the world, designers, artists and engineers create staircases that either have elaborate or classic designs, placing them in different kinds of places—from bookstores to museums, these staircases’ uniqueness and grandness have held many people captivated. Here are some of the most beautiful staircases around the world:

Spiral Stair in Sydney, Australia

At the Garvan Institute in Sydney, Australia, one can find a beautiful spiral staircase that spans five stories, and has 6.5 revolutions—enough to make you spinning with wonder and delight as you climb up this fascinating staircase. Classic in design, it serves as a beautiful centerpiece inside, drawing one’s attention upon entering.

Spiral Staircase at the Vatican Museum, Italy

Ornate in its design, it is no wonder that this staircase is said to be one of the most photographed in the entire world. Created in 1932 by Giuseppe Momo, the wide steps, also called ramps, were used by all the visitors of the Vatican Museum. A glass ceiling tops the staircase, which has a balustrade made of bronze. The ramp is also a double helix—two intertwined spirals with one that leads up and the other, down. The shape of the staircase would prove to be momentous, as it preceded the discovery of something that shared its design: the double helix DNA strand.

Loretto Chapel Staircase in USA

In New Mexico there is a chapel that is known for its staircase. With no support in the middle, many consider the staircase miraculous. Twenty feet in height, with two complete revolutions, it heads up to the choir loft without nails or any other materials to support it. It is an astounding work of carpentry, as instead of nails, it used wooden pegs. It also has religious relevance; it has 33 steps which signify the age when Jesus Christ died. To further support the view of it being a miracle, no one can attest as to who the carpenter who created the staircase is; nor can people say where the lumber is from, as no one has seen any deliveries or carpenters when it was being constructed. Also, the wood is not particular in the region. Though most people who have studied the area say that the story is mythical, one cannot discredit the fact that the staircase proves to be one of the most beautiful in the world.

Tulip Staircase in Queen’s House

Self-supporting in its design, the tulip stairs is the first of its kind in Britain. Though its name suggests the flower as its design, many actually think that the flowers that accessorize its balustrade are fleurs-de-lis, as it was also the Bourbon family’s emblem, which Queen Henrietta Maria is a part of. Aside from the sheer beauty of this staircase, it is also famous for another reason: it is the site of the ghostly photograph taken by Rev. R. W. Hardy, which showed several hooded figures bent over, climbing up.

Staircase at Lello Bookshop, Portugal

Built in 1906, the bookshop houses a grand staircase whose swirly design will leave you with a sinking feeling, as you climb up the stairs. Its grandness is complemented by the surrounding shelves filled with books, as well as the designs on the wooden panels. This makes for a perfect stay inside a bookstore.

San Francisco’s Tiled Steps in USA

Also known as the world’s longest mosaic stair, it is a 163-step, 82-feet high stairs which was created by an Irish ceramicist named Aileen Barr, together with a San Franciscan mosaic artist named Colette Crutcher. A group of neighbors were responsible for raising funds, and they lobbied the local government to help make it a reality. Finally, in August of 2005, the stairs was completed. Over two thousand handmade tiles and over seventy-five thousand fragments of stained glass, mirror and tile were used in the making of the stairs.

Umschreibung at KPMG Building in Munich, Germany

A unique-looking staircase created by Olafur Eliasson, its name, “Umschreibung,” means “Rewriting.” Situated in front of the accounting firm KPMG, it is a marvel in architectural design. Nine meters in height, this steel spiral which reminds one of a dizzying roller coaster was completed in 2004.

Longchamp Store Stairs in New York, USA

Weighing fifty-five tones, the stairs has ribbon-like forms that break up and come together, to create an artistic landscape of steps, landings and walkways. The uniqueness of this staircase is that it looks fluid, as opposed to the traditional rigidity of stairs. Using aerospace windscreen technology, the balustrades are created to form panels that look like flowing fabric.

Vertigo Staircase in QVB Building, Australia

True to its name, “The Grand Staircase” inside the Grand Queen Victoria Building in Sydney was completed before the 20th century (1898). The staircase is unique as it was created by George McRae as a monument to the reigning monarch. Also making it a wonder is the fact that it was created during a time when Sydney was experiencing a severe economic recession. Part of the reason for its Romanesque design is for the government to be able to provide work for local craftsmen who were out of jobs; from stonemasons to stained-glass artists, they were all commissioned to be a part of this worthwhile project.

Bridge-stair at the Traversinertobel, Switzerland

In Via Mala’s side valley, one can find a fascinating structure made by an engineer named Jurg Conzett, together with associate Rolf Bachofner. Before, hikers used a rope bridge that connected two elevations of a gorge. However, a rock slide destroyed the said bridge, so the engineer came out with a solution to the problem by creating a different kind of bridge: a bridge that doubles as stairs, spanning a distance of fifty-six meters, differing twenty-two meters in height from one end to the other.

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