Most people wouldn’t really give staircases a second thought. After all, they’re just a practical – often forgettable – means to move up or down, right?
However, as an innovative staircase manufacturer, we’ve come across some pretty impressive designs within homes. In fact, we have expertly manufactured some high-end designer staircases over the years.
Therefore, it’s easy to see why we are fascinated by some of the world’s most famous architecture – especially when it comes to staircases. From the simple but elegant, to some downright bizarre and out-of-this-world designs, here is our list of the 7 most incredible and captivating staircases from around the world.
#1 Chand Baori
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Chand Baori, a stepwell built sometime in the 8th Century in Rajasthan. Take a look at the people at the top right of the photo to get a feeling for the immensity of the cistern. During the periods of intense heat the Royal Family would occupy the chambers on the left, and the villagers would gather on the steps around it to take advantage of the coolness of the water at the bottom of the well. Please see the ‘Story’ post about it.
The Chand Baori is considered one of the most attractive landmarks in the world. Located in the Indian state of Rajasthan, the stepwell was built between 800CE and 900CE by King Chanda of the Nikumbh dynasty. A spectacular sight for anyone who visits (and it’s not actually easy to find), the Chand Baori is a four-sided structure boasting a temple on one of its four faces. There are over 3,500 narrow steps going down – easy right? At least you can enjoy the beautiful patterns and intricate details that it boasts throughout, as you make your way down the steps. The incredible stepwell has been used in several different films throughout the years and is even thought to have inspired ‘the pit’ that Batman finds himself trapped in during the Dark Knight Rises. #2 Spanish Steps
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Referred to as one of Rome’s most famous – and popular – attractions, the Spanish Steps were first built back in 1723 by architect Francesco de Sanctis as a way of linking the Trinità dei Monti church, with the Spanish Square below it.
The steps are one of the most photographed landmarks in all of Rome and for very good reason. The beautiful and unique design encompasses a range of curves, terraces, and vistas. They are also one of the longest and widest staircases in all of Europe.
Many artists and poets have claimed the steps have provided them with inspiration for their work, with many returning time after time to view them. You can see artists working on the steps anytime you visit throughout the year.
#3 16th Avenue Tiled Steps (San Francisco)
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The 16th Avenue staircase in San Francisco is probably the most colourful one on our list today. A hidden gem, the 163 steps are made up entirely by bright and beautifully coloured mosaic tiles. Completed in 2005, the steps were a community project that were worked on by over 300 neighbours. Broken into small sets of stairs, each one has its own unique design, including depictions of the sun, moon, fish, flowers and shells. Although stunning at any time of day, it really needs to be witnessed as the sun starts to set and the stairs catch the reflection – it’s magical. #4 Bramante Staircase at the Vatican Museum
When it comes to famous staircases, the Bramante staircase at the Vatican museum is probably one of the most photographed in the entire world.
Designed by Giuseppe Momo in 1932, it consists of two separate staircases that twist together to form an impressive and spectacular design. Giuseppe is said to have drawn inspiration from the original Bramante staircase (built in 1505), hence the name given to this special spiral staircase.
The staircase is at the end of the museum and all visitors must access it to leave.
#5 Bueren Mountain (Belgium)
Bueren Mountain, or Montagne de Bueren, as it’s otherwise known, was ranked as #1 on The Huffington Post’s list of extreme staircases back in 2013. And we can see why! Located in Liege, Belgium, the 374-step staircase was built in 1881 and is believed to have been constructed to honour the 600 soldiers who died in the attack by the Duke of Burgundy in the 15th century. #6 Haiku Stairs (Hawaii)
Ever heard of the Stairway to Heaven? Well, if not, it’s are located on the island of Oahu. The steep hiking trail has 3,922 steps that span across the entire Ko’olau mountain range.
Unfortunately, you can’t actually climb the Haiku stairs. It’s illegal and carries a $1000 fine. Ouch! They were installed during the second World War but weren’t officially declared off limits until 1987 (although that hasn’t put some rule-breaking thrill-seekers off).
#7 The Tulip Stairs
We couldn’t finish our list without including one from back home here in the UK. The Tulip staircase is one of the original features of the Queen’s House in Greenwich.
Believed to be the very first unsupported spiral staircase in England, they are supported by a combination of support by cantilever from the walls, with each tread resting on the one below.
It’s also the location of R. W. Hardy’s famous ‘ghost’ photo from 1966, which has never been explained to this day.
We might not be designing the next Stairway to Heaven any time soon (and thankfully, as that sounds very tiring), but we can help you to enhance your own home design with a staircase that is both dynamic and modern.
Contact us today for more information.