Stairs are probably the last thing that would come to mind if someone were to ask you about potentially interesting photography subjects, but these spiral and helical staircases beg to differ. They are standing proof that, with the right perspective, even a set of stairs can make for an absolutely stunning photograph.

Most of these photos owe their appeal to these staircases’ hypnotizing spiral forms. Spiral staircases are appreciated by architects and designers for the extraordinary columns of space that they can create and for their dynamic 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. [Read more...]

The 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)? They were designed this way so that defending soldiers would have the advantage when confronted inside of a spiral staircase. Ascending attacking soldiers would have no room to swing their (usually right-handed) weapons, while defending soldiers would have room to swing or to stab blindly around the spiral staircase’s central column.

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