A lot of people want to install a spiral staircase in their homes because of its elegance and romantic appeal. But, did you know that spiral staircases did not always exude such a lovely image?
The oldest spiral staircase was recorded as far back as 480 BC in Italy. It was part of the Temple A in Selinunte, Sicily. Unlike today’s construction, spiral stairs back then were composed of an enter newel, made out of stone, and stone stair slabs were built around them.
The Trajan’s column in Rome, built and completed in 113 AD, marked the beginning of the popularity of spiral staircases. Up until today, the spiral staircase in Trajan’s column still stands, making it the oldest known spiral staircase in history.
Unlike those found in Temple A, the staircase in Trajan’s column was made of precious marble that is 42 meters high with its columns decorated with reliefs of the last Dacian war. With more than 2,000 carvings, history in engraved on this piece of art.
Because of the beauty that the Trajan’s column exuded, spiral staircases slowly become a piece of architecture in Rome and eventually made its way to other continents.
In the 4th Century, Greeks also created a spiral staircase to construct the Tomb of Galerius. But as Greece fell to various conquerors, the name and purpose of the building have changed over the centuries. It has been converted to a church, a mosque, a prison, and even a catacomb.
In 532, even great conquerors like Constantine fancied spiral staircases, constructing a lucratively designed structure to connect important terraces and rooms in his palace. But, due to wars and conflicts, the majestic castle that has been home to the conqueror’s heirs have undergone multiple renovations to fit the taste of the new occupants. From a castle, the structure has become a ceremonial hall, a mosque, and a church. To date, remnants of the original palace, which composed of few mosaics, castle foundation, and sculptures, are being preserved by the government of Turkey.
As years went on, contemporary designers began introducing spiral staircases to homes and other structures. And because it does not require as much space as other stairs would need, the spiral staircase has become famous for owners who want to maximize space.
The materials used for this type of staircase has also evolved from stones and marbles to wood and steel, depending on its purpose. It took time before designers found a way to detach the stairs from the walls and make it a stand-alone fixture in homes and other buildings.
With its rich history and economic purpose, spiral staircases are here to stay. And, as architecture and design continue to progress, spiral stairs will continue to surprise with aesthetic and functionality.
With the right material, a spiral staircase can make a home elegant and romantic. If you need a customized spiral staircase, our team at iStairs can help you create the design that will fit the overall look of your abode.