This photograph looks down at the Vatican’s double helix staircase from above.
In 1932, Giuseppe Momo designed the double helix staircase used by visitors to the Vatican museums. His design was inspired by the Bramante Staircase, which is located in the Vatican’s Pio-Clementine Museum but not available to the general public. The original Bramante Staircase was designed for use by mules and horses to carry large items. The two staircases of the modern staircase are intertwining “up” and “down” staircases, designed so that people going up do not meet people going down. Now, all visitors use this staircase to leave the museums at the end of their visits.