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.
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!
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.