World’s best ceiling art

I like ceilings. They keep the rain from falling on my head.

Some ceilings I like even more than normal. Some ceilings are more than just the top of the room. For centuries, people considered ceilings to be symbols of the heavens, and many ceilings around the world have been transformed into amazing works of art. In my travels, I have seen a number of them, so I was interested in looking through this gallery of the world’s coolest ceilings.

Judging from the photos, I’d have to say I’d most like to see Kyoto’s Dharma Hall in person. It’s a cool spooky painting of clouds and twin dragons rampaging across the ceiling. I also wouldn’t mind setting my eyes on the emerald green ceiling in the Mirror Room of the Royal Palace in Brussels. Apparently the green color comes from the shells of more than a million Thai jewel beetles embedded into the ceiling. That’s a lot of jewel beetles.

Note that the list doesn’t include the Sistine Chapel ceiling (too mainstream, I guess). I think that’s a mistake; the Sistine ceiling is as impressive as its reputation suggests. A bit crowded, I suppose, but that's the price you pay for being one of the world's true artistic masterpieces. 

For those of you going on EF College Break tours, you could find yourself under many of the ceilings in the gallery, including Ambassador’s Hall in Seville, Spain; the Church of St. Ignazio in Rome; and the Dharma Hall one in Kyoto. Wherever you go, I strongly recommend looking up whenever you walk into an old building, museum or church. You never know what you may see up there.

Photo: Ramon Stoppelenburg via Flickr (CC)

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