By M. W. Byrne

Look Up At The 21 Most Beautiful Ceilings In The World

Here’s the world’s 21 most gorgeous toppers ever put on a building.

Peacock Room, Castello di Sammezzano, Italy

Built in the Moorish style with 365 rooms, one for each day of the year, the Sammezzano castle has been used as a residence, a hotel, a gathering location, and a spa and golf course. 


Notre-Dame de la Garde, Marseille

A playful carnival feel takes center stage in the basilica of this Notre-Dame cathedral done up in Neo-Bizantine form and given arabesque decorations to create an airy sensibility that offers a light.


Heydar Aliyev Centre, Baku, Azerbaijan

Acoustically wonderful and complex, this is the work of architect Zaha Hadid who chose sealed and flexed white oak to form the ceiling and walls, arcing down to devise a womb-like feel that seems to be floating in space, fluid and graceful.


Shah Mosque, Isfahan

Beautifully crennelated, it’s difficult to believe this is done with mud brick decorated by Rezza Abbasi, noted calligrapher and miniaturist who managed to make a mosaic out of polished and fired clays that reflect the sunlight in dazzling patterns.


Round Temple Church, London

Simplistic and understated, the Round Temple was created by the Knights Templar in the 12th centry and reflects the ideology inherent in the Templars, which is holy grace, devotion to purity, and humility before God.


San Pantalon, Dorsoduro, Venice

Unfinished and glorious, it costs a 50 cent Euro piece to light up this oil painting byGian Antonio Fumiani which gives the illusion of extending the Baroque church upward, showing a chaotic, angelic scene.


Guinness Storehouse, Dublin, Ireland

Church’s get a lot of attention for their ceilings, but few of them are as fun as sitting in the bottom of a barrel at the Guinness Storehouse. Pint in hand, of course.