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Architectural Art: Photos of Mesmerizing Spiral Staircases

There is something entirely intriguing about spirals, something that captures our eye. Spiral shapes can be found in architecture, in nature, in DNA, and even in other galaxies.


SEE ALSO: The Penrose Stairs: Stairwell of illusion

Viewed from above, a spiral staircase can appear as an ominous eye, an infinite fractal shell or a bottomless work of abstract art and are made of myriad materials from stone and wood to concrete and metal. Some of these stairs have been climbed by kings and princes, prime ministers and presidents.

Most of these photos owe their appeal to these staircases’ hypnotizing spiral forms. Technically, however, most of them are helical stairs, not spiral – true spiral stairs must revolve around a central point, while helical stairs revolve at a set distance from a central point.

clan_kerr_staircaseThe historical applications of spiral stairs are also quite interesting. Have you ever noticed that the spiral staircases in castles or castle towers almost always turn clockwise (from the ascending person’s point of view)?

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This is because all knights used to be right-handed. When the intruding army would climb the stairs they would not be able to use their right hand which was holding the sword because of the difficulties of climbing the stairs. Left-handed knights would have had no troubles, except left-handed people could never become knights because it was assumed that they were descendants of the devil.

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