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

The 5th wall is often forgotten in architecture and building design, but 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 ceilings that reach to the heavens to opulent textural elements, check out these, the most beautiful ceilings in the world.

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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.


Temple of Heaven ceiling in Beijing, China.

Temple of Heaven

 Representational of where heaven and earth meet, the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, China was completed in 1420. It sits in a garden and has been central to Beijing's culture (along with the Forbidden City) for millennia. 

The ceiling is the top in a series of three stacked concentric rings and is supported by columns. It is covered in ornate patterns and vibrant colors.


Sistine Chapel

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.

Yes, these extravagant and famous ceilings around the world are architectural works of art that cannot be remade. That doesn’t mean you can’t be inspired to build your own masterpiece.

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Royal Palace

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.


Sensoji Temple


Why not emulate that same grand, historic texture on the ceilings (and walls) in your own home? American Tin Ceiling tiles will enrich and add historic vintage flair to any space, and take your favorite rooms from basic to breathtaking.

With so many unique or timeless patterns and options ranging from Unfinished steel to distressed hand-applied Artisan finishes, there’s a tin tile for any style you want to evoke.


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