Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Stairs, stairwell
(1,108 words)

1. Definition and architecture

The stairwell is a separate room or space within a building that includes a set of steps connecting at least two floors vertically. Other forms are exterior and open staircases [3].

Until the 18th century, stairwells were illuminated almost exclusively by side windows, so that they were usually located on an exterior wall. When the wall was fenestrated in a regular pattern, that led to an artistic problem: either the stairs pa…

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Laß, Heiko, “Stairs, stairwell”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 03 October 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_029056>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180208

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