Triple-Spiral Stair

The Vatican has its famous and grand two-spiral Bramante stair, and there are other examples of double-spiral stairs throughout the world; for example, Calling Alice (San Francisco) and Edificio Cuervo Rubio (Havana, Cuba) are images I’ve made based on two-spiral staircases. But as far as I know, Santiago de Compostela boasts the only three-spiral staircase. At least the only one I have ever seen or heard of. Please let me know if there are others I’ve missed.

Triple-Spiral Stairs (Looking Up) © Harold Davis

The image above is looking up, and the image below was a quick high ISO photo with a gaggle of kids from a class trip looking up at me!

Triple-Spiral Stairs with School Group © Harold Davis

I really like Santiago de Compostela very much. Not only does it have a triple-spiral stair, it also has a wonderful old town, a university population, and a constant flow of colorful incoming Camino pilgrims.

When the Camino de Santiago first became a pilgrimage, it was thought of as a walk to the edge of the unknown. Remember, Columbus was still centuries in the future at that point, and the apparently endless Atlantic lies only a short distance beyond Santiago. So pilgrims came laboriously from all over the known world to get a taste of the unknown.

For me, walking to this city still has a bit of the edgy feeling of contemplating what comes after all that is known.

This entry was posted in Photography.


  1. Carla Edwards November 25, 2018 at 2:01 pm #

    Hi Harold, I just finished reading your blog on The Camino. Quite the interesting pilgrimage. I’m very glad you wrote about it, showed your lovely pictures, and that I chanced on your blog. My son is thinking of hiking the Camino when he visits Spain next summer.


  2. Wioletta September 20, 2022 at 6:51 am #

    Hi Harold,
    There is one in Dover – Grand shaft staircase. Managed to visit it last weekend. Great to know there are more of those around the world 🙂

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