Famous Ceilings Every Sight Seer Should Have on their List

Written by Milan Jara on 4th Nov 2011

People always ask my wife and I what we find so alluring about ceilings. To us, a good ceiling is like a work of art. We can appreciate the work and creativity that goes into developing a blank canvas into any kind of ceiling that is a joy to look at. If you want to see what real works of art look like, then you have to add visiting these famous ceilings to your bucket list.

Sistine Chapel

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Photo by Dennis Jarvis (Flickr)

Let’s start this list off with the granddaddy of them all, the Sistine Chapel. When Michelangelo finished his Vatican City masterpiece, he set a standard for all ceiling artists to follow. Not only is the artwork amazing, but to span an image that breathtaking over an entire ceiling is just incredible.

Library of Congress: The Great Hall

Despite the opinion most people have of Washington, the district does have a few results worth being proud of. The ceiling of the Great Hall in the Library of Congress is a configuration of stained glass and skylights that can literally take your breath away. The stained-glass ceiling in the Great Hall also does a lot to enhance the overall beauty of the hall and the Library of Congress itself.

Senso-Ji Temple

The Senso-Ji Temple is the oldest temple in Japan. It was completed in the year 645 A.D., and it contains an impressive ceiling that tells the story of a dragon and a mysterious lady. As with most Japanese artwork, the colors on the Senso-Ji Temple are bright and inspiring. But what is most striking about this ceiling is how well it is preserved and how much work had to have gone into creating it.

Blue Mosque

Blue Mosque Ceiling

Photo by Ninara (Flickr)

During Ottoman rule, the Turks built a mosque simply called the Blue Mosque. It gets its name from its distinctive color, but it winds up on this list for its incredibly impressive ceiling. This large, domed ceiling is lined with images made of various colors of tile, with the dominant color being blue. The mosque was built sometime in the early 1600s, and it had to have taken years to complete this very intricate work.

National Gallery of Victoria

Located in Melbourne, Australia, this is the ceiling that covers the Great Hall of the National Gallery of Victoria, and it is the ultimate stained-glass ceiling. Along with being an enormous ceiling that covers the entire expanse of the great hall, it is also a work of art that looks different at different times of the day. The skylights over the ceiling allow the light to penetrate the stained glass, and the results, at any time of the day, are impressive.

If you travel a lot, then you will want to make stops at all of these ceilings during the course of your journeys. If you are not an avid traveler, then seeing these once-in-a-lifetime pieces of art is a really good reason to start putting together some future holidays. Aside from visiting places like Australia and Japan, you will also have the privilege of seeing what it really means to create a ceiling that is an absolute, classic work of art.

- Milan Jara

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