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The Spectacle of Monastery of Saint Dominic’s Triple Helical Staircase


Convento de San Domingos de Bonaval or the Monastery of Saint Dominic is a monastery located in the city of Santiago de Compostela, on the slopes of Mount Mastic near Puerta de Camino that holds one of the historical gates of Santiago. It was founded by St. Dominic de Guzman who went on a pilgrimage to Santiago in the early thirteenth century.


The church, built in Gothic and Renaissance style, is not currently open for worship and houses the Pantheon of illustrious Galicians. It was built according to the canons of Gothic naves Dominican with light and is airy, moving the landmark liturgido from the apse to the pulpit located on the cruise.  Buried in this temple where noble families of Moscoso and Castro, through the authorisation of Pope Innocent IV. The temple was completely covered with vaults. The altarpiece was built from 1687 by Domingo de Andrade in the parish church of Santiago de Carril. After being mounted in its final position, it has not maintained the original structure.

Domingo de Andrade was a Spanish baroque architect born in 1639. He is a leading figure in the emergence of Galician Baroque architecture. He spearheaded the construction of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela including the clock tower, called Berenguela, Royal Door to Quintana square and the Tower of the Bells.

image003Inside the convent stands an extraordinary, one-of-a-kind triple helical staircase of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It is also one of the masterpieces of the church’s architect, Domingo Andrade. It consists of three separate coils. According to Professor Rios Miramontes, it is related and similar to the staircase in the Castle of Chambord in France. In the same space extend three separate ramps that lead to different rooms, only one of the three extends to the viewpoint. The rungs of the ladder are made of a whole piece, set in an outer rib without joining the wall or each other. It was restored by Xose Cerviño Garcia, Master Cerviño.

The triple helical staircase is a magnificent work of art. The intertwining coils leads to different floors and the last one ultimately leads to the viewpoint where you can see the view of the city. The Baroque design inspired many churches in Spain to follow. It was also listed in many articles as one of the staircases in the world that will surely give you vertigo as you discover its true wonder.

Image courtesy of and


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This entry was posted on March 6, 2014 by in Famous Staircases and tagged , , , .
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