Posted by: bluesyemre | July 28, 2019

23 Ceilings worth craning your neck for (Atlas Obscura readers share their favorite overhead wonders)


There’s wonder all around, but it’s easy to forget to look up. There’s the ever-mutable sky up there, and for centuries, architects, artists, and designers have tried to outdo it, often in churches, libraries, mosques, and museums. Many of those buildings save their greatest, most jaw-dropping sights for their own versions of the heavens: ceilings. We recently asked the readers in our Community Forum to tell us about the most startling ceilings they’ve ever encountered. What we found was heavenly (unsurprising, since many of them reside in houses of worship) and worth all the neck strain.

Take a look at some of our favorite submissions below, and if there’s an incredible ceiling you’d like to tell us about, head over to our forums and keep the conversation going! Here are some ceilings just bursting with the vision and artistry of a dozen Sistine Chapels.

Santa Maria de la Victoria Malaga, Spain


Austrian Academy of Sciences Vienna, Austria


Hampton Court Palace East Molesey, England

image (1)

Dalí Theatre-Museum Figueres, Spain

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Aachen Cathedral Aachen, Germany

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Hohenzollern Castle Baden-Württemberg, Germany

image (4)

Chiesa di Sant’ Ignazio di Loyola Rome, Italy

image (5)

King’s College Chapel Cambridge, England

image (6)

San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane Rome, Italy

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Strahov Library Prague, Czechia

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Los Angeles Central Library Los Angeles, California

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Christian Science Church Boston, Massachusetts

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Galeries Lafayette Paris, France

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Thomas Jefferson Building Washington, D.C.

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Shah Mosque Isfahan, Iran

image (13)

Alhambra Grenada, Spain

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Palau de la Música Catalana Barcelona, Spain

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Gur-e-Amir Samarkand, Uzbekistan

image (16)

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis St. Louis, Missouri

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Ohio Theatre Columbus, Ohio

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St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral Washington, D.C.

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Chiesa Santa Maria dei Miracoli Venice, Italy

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Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque Muscat, Oman

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