The Stairs of Reconciliation
Picture: Flickr

The Burg, the official headquarters of the regional authorities in Graz, Austria, incorporates a double spiral staircase, two flights of stairs spiraling in reverse instructions that “reunite” at every flooring, a masterpiece of structure designed in 1499.

Bonus: Curiously, a number of facades of the constructing bear the inscription A.E.I.O.U., a motto coined by Frederick III in 1437, when he was Duke of Styria. It’s not clear what this implies, and over the following centuries heraldists have supplied greater than 300 interpretations:

  • “All of the world is topic to Austria” (Alles Erdreich ist Österreich untertan or Austriae est imperare orbi universo)
  • “I’m beloved by the elect” (from the Latin amor electis, iniustis ordinor ultor)
  • “Austria is finest united by the Empire” (Austria est imperio optime unita)
  • “Austria would be the final (surviving) on the planet” (Austria erit in orbe ultima)
  • “It’s Austria’s future to rule the entire world” (Austriae est imperare orbi universo)

On the time Styria was not but a part of Austria, so right here it will check with the Home of Austria, or the Habsburg dynasty — which traditionally adopted the curious motto itself.

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