Why Do Most Spiral Staircases Ascend In a Clockwise Direction and How Did They Originate?

Spiral staircases originated as a defense mechanism in medieval castles because all knights were right-handed.

Southpaws were considered under the Devil’s influence and were automatically disqualified for knighthood.

While ascending a clockwise spiral staircase backwards with a sword in his right hand, the defending knight could freely swing his sword arm, while the attacker was neutralized by the wall blocking his own right arm.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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