Look up: 4 of the Most Famous Ceilings in the World

May 9, 2014

The 5th wall is often forgotten in architecture and building design, but on a rare occasion, the ceiling can define a space. Ceiling treatments are unique in that they add character and can completely change the look and feel of a room. From excessively high ceilings to opulent textural elements, check out these four extremely impressive ceilings around the world.

Sistine Chapel

Undoubtedly the most famous ceiling of all time, the Sistine Chapel was painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512, a cornerstone of Renaissance Art. Depicting nine scenes from the Book of Genesis, the religious frescos are a pilgrimage for art lovers everywhere. Grouped by theme, the various pictures show Heaven and Earth, the Garden of Eden, and the plight of Humanity.

Royal Palace in Brussels

Made from 1.6 million bejeweled beetles from Thailand, yes you read that right, the iridescent emerald ceiling called “Heaven of Delight” took artist Jon Fabre and his team of 29 four months to glue each individual shell to the ceiling and central chandelier. The texture and intricacies are completely unmatched and if you can get over the fact that you’re sleeping under millions of bugs, it’s definitely one of the most uniquely beautiful buildings in the world.

Alhambra Islamic Palace

The epitome of Moorish design in Spain, the Alhambra Palace is a spectacle inside and out. Literally translating to “Red Castle,” the impressive structure sits on a rocky outcrop guarding the city. With little Byzantine influence, the decoration ushered in the last great period of Andalusian art in Granada. The vaulted ceilings are done in a style called Muqarnas, similar to cave stalactites.

Tokyo’s Senso-ji Temple

Completed in the year 645, the ceiling of the Senso-ji Temple depicts a giant dragon with a globe in its talons, and a mural of the Kannon Bodhisattva, goddess of mercy. Tokyo’s oldest temple, the exterior has ornate soffits as is common with other Buddist temples, while the interior ceiling has painted scenes depicting Asian culture.


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