Stair tower

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
medieval stair tower without external entrance at the church Saint-Pierre-ès-Liens in Rampoux ( Lot ), France
Renaissance stair tower with balconies , Albrechtsburg Castle , Meißen
Latscha building (around 1900), Frankfurt - Ostend

A stair tower (also a stair tower or spiral stone ) is a tower-like part of a building built on a round or polygonal floor plan , which contains a staircase - usually with a spiral staircase .


Stair towers are usually presented to the front of a building or inserted into an angle. In rarer cases - mostly in three-aisled churches - the lower part was inside the church, whereas the upper part was visible from the outside (e.g. the former abbey church of Saint-Menoux ). Originally they were only accessible from inside the main building (church, castle); since the Renaissance the entrance was regularly in the courtyard. Stair towers have a structure that is largely independent of the main building .


Only a few examples of stair towers are known from ancient times (e.g. at the Kaiserthermen in Trier ); Stairways were superfluous in the often single-storey buildings or they were housed in the outer walls of the buildings, which are often several meters thick. This tradition also persisted at defense towers ( donjons ) as well as churches and castles of the early and high Middle Ages; it only changed with the increased construction of purpose-oriented and altogether little decorative stair towers in the high and late Middle Ages ( Romanesque , Gothic ).

Since the Renaissance , stair towers have become much more decorative and prestigious - from then on, stairs were hardly hidden or outsourced, but there were both artfully designed winding and straight staircases inside the building with rich ceiling and banister decorations (e.g. Chambord Castle , Palazzo Barberini or Azay-le-Rideau Castle or Chenonceau Castle ). With the strengthened construction of straight staircases with intermediate landing ( stairwell ), separately standing stair towers gradually became increasingly rare.

Reinforced concrete stair towers are still used for high industrial buildings such as boiler houses in coal-fired power plants.



See also

  • Traboule , a special form of the stair tower


Web links

Commons : Stair towers  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ↑ Stair towers for RWE Power Kraftwerk Westfalen