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22 Reasons To Look Up: Breathtaking Vaults And Ceilings

22 Reasons To Look Up: Breathtaking Vaults And Ceilings

Here we have a collection of some absolutely breathtaking vaulted ceilings. From cathedrals to libraries, Gothic to Islamic, US to UK, there are so many to choose from. And they are all mesmerizing in their own way. Some for their sheer size and magnitude, others for the delicate intricacies implanted by famous artists and architects of their time.

While many are drawn to old architecture of these styles out of casual curiosity, each structure here has an amazing history behind it; one that goes much, much deeper than most people think to look. These histories are filled with drama, religion, expression and other culturally established norms of their time. They act as well-preserved time capsules into our past, and the ceilings as windows into the speculated heavens of each society.

As we look up, staring at these wonders, we feel things that perhaps were felt by people who lived when these structures were built. That is but a little taste of the power of timeless architecture. So feast your eyes and endulge your curiosities with out curated list below. Don’t forget to let us know what else you’d like to see in the comments!

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1. Vault of the St. Peter basilica, Rome, Italy

One third of the original basilica still stands proving the greatness of Roman architectural style and how it has withstood the test of time. Its great arched vaults still dominate centuries after it was constructed.

2. King’s College Chapel, Cambridge

This chapel still looks as beautiful as it did when first erected by king Henry IV. One is left to imagine how long it took to construct this chapel. The stone design detail on this vault is amazing. The concrete patterns on the ceiling are a sight to behold.

3. Tomb of Omar Khayyam, Neyshabur, North Khorasan, Iran

The vibrant jewel like colors,intricate geometric patterns and fine brickwork are some of the features of Iranian architecture. This also displays the rich culture of the people of Iran.

4. Rib Vault in St. Pancras Station, London

The Victorian Gothic style use of red bricks with ancaster stone dressing is  amazing. Adding an octagonal lamp at the center makes this vault stand out as one of Gilbert Scott best works.

5. Flower of heaven in Shah Sheragh shrine, Shiraz, Iran

The rich details and patterns on the well-crafted concrete ceiling compliment the holy nature of the shrine. Since it is to be used by a lot of people as a worship place, the different details also display the diverse cultures that use the place.

6. Wells Cathedral choir vaults, Wells, England

Once you look up these choir vaults you will find out why the Wells cathedral has been described”as one of the most beautiful and most poetic” of the English cathedrals.The cathedral’s architecture can be seen as”truly”Gothic and  one of its kind among English medieval times cathedrals.

7. Belfry at Radu Voda Monastery, Bucharest, Romania

Right in the heart of Bucharest is the Radu Voda monastery. This  monastery built over four hundred years ago still looks amazing. The painting of Jesus and the saints can tell you the precision and and attention paid by the painter.

8. Vaulted fans, St. John’s Cathedral, UK

The circular design made out of steel with a jewel at the center is a sight to behold for anyone who visits this worship place. There are also very unique designs between adjacent circles and all these bring out a theme of a holy and precious place of worship.

9. Wells Cathedral, vault of the lady chapel, Wells, England

Once you visit the wells cathedral you will be fascinated by the vault of the lady chapel.The ribs are arranged so well in a pattern that they form a star within star.

10. Christiansborg Palace Church, Copenhagen, Denmark

This church  is one of Scandinavia’s most beautiful interiors. Designed by Denmark’s greatest architect C. F. Hansen, the architectural style is noticeably Roman inspired. The patterned ceiling and marbled stucco work look  stunning. The dome also allows light through thus reflecting the the patterns.

11. Vaulted Ceiling in St Edmundsbury Cathedral, England

The fan vaulted ceiling is made of oak that is gilded and painted. The arrangement of the rib structures and the mixing of colors is amazing.

12. Hurezi Monastery, Tanasesti, Valcea, Romania

This monastery is considered a masterpiece of ‘Brancovensec style’. Its architectural purity,richly sculpted design detail,painted decorative works and treatment of religious compositions make this beautiful monastery.

13. Union Station Ceiling, Washington, DC

The next time you are in the union station waiting for a train just take some time to look up the ceiling and you will appreciate its  beauty.The white granite and the several thousands gold leaf decorations are amazing.

The massive convergence room has its ceiling done in a modest color of brown which resembles that of the whole room and the ceiling is made of polished wood. The uniformity of color and simplicity of design bring out the nature  and function  of the room as formal. The room has reference books for this purpose.

15. Commerce Court North, Toronto, Canada

This famous banking hall building is unique due to its cathedral looking ceiling with vaulted moldings.Its architectural style is similar to that of the Bath of Caracalla in Rome.The chandelier helps to add to the beauty.

16. The Sacristy, Castille la Mancha, Spain

This  cathedral that dates back to several hundred years contains a great amount of artwork and has a museum like feel. The sacristy at the cathedral of Toledo is like nothing you have seen before.It contains a complete collection of paintings from painters like  El Greco and a collection of liturgical garments.

17. Vault in the Chapter House of York Minster, England

The presence of the York Minister is almost impossible to feel.The marvelous ribbed vault of the ceiling is enough to make one gasp.The impressive vault and Gothic architectural style leaves on to wonder how this amazing cathedral was constructed.

18. Clos Lucé castle, Amboise, France

When you look at this ceiling,you can tell why Italian polymath Leonardo Da Vinci  resided in this house.The paintings and the ribbed vault are timeless.

19. Church of the Hospital of St. Cross and Almshouse of Noble Poverty, Winchester, England

The center of the building which is done in gold is contrasted by the maroon designs of flowers which brings out a very rich culture of the building owing to the different cultures of the people who use the church.

20. Castello di Amorosa Winery, Napa Valley, California, USA

This wood ceiling looks impressive.The wall paintings and chandelier looks amazing that one would want to visit the the whole winery and see it for themselves.This winery looks so impressive one would not believe that it is less than fifteen years old.

21. Rib-vaulted ceiling of Chartres Cathedral, France

The design detail observed in this vaulted ceiling is impressive.The center of the vault is decorated with amazing gold decorations.The stained windows help to continue the look of the vault.The  contrast between the color of the bricks and the center of the ceiling brings out diversity in the room.

22. The vault, Sistine Chapel, Vatican City

This impressive  ceiling painted by Michelangelo forms a large scheme of decoration within the chapel.This works of high renaissance art is famous and has been inspirational to western art. At the center of the ceiling,there are nine scenes from the book of Genesis of which The creation of Adam is best known. All the art done on the ceiling draws its inspiration from the bible.