The Tulip Staircase, a Suspended Stairway for the Queen
Location: Queen’s House
Address: Romney Rd, Greenwich, London SE10 9NF, Regno Unito
Have you ever asked yourself where you could find the first free-standing spiral staircase in England? Regardless, the exceptional Tulip Staircase at the monumental Queen’s House, a work by Renaissance architect Inigo Jones in Greenwich, will surprise you. The optical effect you will experience upon heading up its steps is truly unusual and the blue which blankets the wrought-iron structure is made up of tiny fragments of glass. Its name, Tulip, refers to the tulips depicted on its railings which, actually, are the "fleur-de-lis", the French Royal Crest. The motif was surely chosen by Henrietta Maria of France, wife to Charles I. She overlooked the completion of the Queen's House in 1636. The Queen's House, English Royal residence, is one of the most important buildings in the history of British architecture, the first meticulously constructed in the classical style in Great Britain. It represents the first large commission entrusted to Jones after his return from his Grand Tour in Italy which he undertook to study Roman, Renaissance and Palladian architecture. For anyone who finds themselves in London, a visit to this masterpiece is a must. Just don’t be intimidated by all the rumours about the place being haunted. In 1966, the Canadian reverend R. W. Hardy visited the building with his wife, immortalising the famous Tulip Staircase in a photo. Upon returning home and developing the photo, he realised that he had captured the images of several mysterious figures, one of which is holding onto the stairway’s railing.