spiral staircase

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De Passage in The Hague is a superb arcade with extraordinary high glass ceilings and three arms, all leading out from the central glass dome. The dome and two of those arms were built in 1885; the third arm in 1929. The original foundation stone was laid a little four year old girl called Eliza,…

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The original Passage Lemonnier in Liege was built in the 1830s, making it almost 10 years older than its neighbours in Brussels. But this arcade in Liege was completely rebuilt in Art Deco style 100 years later, so the passage today has more of a 1930s feel. RAF bombing in May 1940, followed by 1960s…

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This 1882 arcade lies just north of the city centre in Brussels. With grand columns marking its entrance on the Boulevard, and high ceilings almost as impressive as its neighbours in the Galeries Royales, the Passage du Nord is a three-storey building decorated with nymphs and cherubs, lovely hanging lamps, and an impressive clock up…

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The Royal Opera Arcade in London is the oldest arcade in the UK, having been built between 1816 and 1818, so pre-dating even the Burlington Arcade. It runs from Pall Mall to Charles II Street, with His Majesty’s Theatre on Haymarket backing onto the northern end of the arcade. Sadly, it is almost deserted now,…

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London’s Burlington Arcade opened in 1819 and has been a role model for many other arcades that opened up around the UK in the following years, becoming the place to see and be seen, and specialising in luxury. In many respects it is still the same today, over 200 years on. Beadles in uniform still…

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The Theatre Royal is perhaps the main feature of the Galerie de la Reine in Brussels, with its Magritte-painted domed ceiling, still drawing in theatre-goers over 100 years since it first opened. The Galerie de la Reine is really just the continuation of the Galerie du Roi, extending beyond the central section towards the north….

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The Galerie Vivienne is probably the most spectacular, eye-catching of the Paris arcades. Whether you look up, down or around, there are stylish delights to feast the eyes, from the tiled mosaic flooring, done by Italians Mazzioli and Facchina, to the classic figures in the coving and ceilings above; with its splendid glass dome, bringing…

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Before it opened in 1881, the Belfast Newsletter said Queen’s Arcade would become ‘one of the leading thoroughfares of the town’. And it still is today, running from Donegall Place to Fountain Street in the centre of Belfast’s shopping district, meaning a steady flow of shoppers and pedestrians walking through. There were originally 27 shops,…

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