One striking theme I found in France was stairs. Yes, you read correctly. Stairs. There are so many more everywhere in France than in the US or in NZ. I suspect that is because most of the buildings in the US are new which means contain elevators. And Americans don’t like to walk up stairs anyway. L can attest to this fact. She and I were shocked tonight when we saw a girl wait more than 3-5 minutes to take the elevator up ONE floor when she could have walked up ONE floor. And NZ doesn’t have many tall buildings. Most houses are 1 or 2 stories. As there are very few apartment buildings, there are very few places that require elaborate stairs. Sure skyscrapers for big companies exist in downtown, but they have elevators anyway. As a young country, we don’t have beautiful stairs that such as those in beautifully designed and famous buildings/monuments in France.
So here is a collection of the most beautiful and unique staircases I saw in France.
This is also my little tribute to Mireille Guiliano and her importance of stairwalking/running for French women. It’s true. There really are stairs everywhere. And considering how beautiful the stairs are, no wonder people enjoy taking them. It works. Really, it does. So thanks for the advice.
…So…the first stairs….
My first homestay’s apartment in Neuilly
Gorgeous staircase from the rez-de-chaussée (ground floor) to the basement of the Château de Chantilly
Treacherous stairs in a ruined fortified castle in Baux-en-Provence
Marbled and hella slippery stairs at Le Louvre
Magnificent staircase at the entrance to Château de Fontainebleau
Closeup of the wiggly Fontainebleau stairs
Masterpiece of Charles Garnier – monumental staircase at le Palais Garner (a.k.a Opéra Garnier)
Close up of stairs at Palais Garnier. The design is exquisite. Garnier created curved stairs that begin concave at the top and end as convex at the bottom (or vice versa convex and concave depending on the angle at which you stand). This means every staircase was specifically calculated and designed as the measurements had to be perfect; these aren’t just any old, straight stairs.
Beautifully cut stairs from the Catacombes. Each step is supposedly a different type of rock?
Gorgeous stairs at Monet’s house in Giverny
And last but certainly not least, my FAVOURITE stairs of all the ones I saw….
The staircase at the house and present-day museum of Gustave Moreau
Aren’t these stairs amazing? They’re beautiful. And functional. The museum placed pieces of art high up on the walls so you have to stand on the stairs to get a better view of the paintings. Plus the spirals are super cool and funky.