The Big Spiral Staircase
As part of extensive modernisation measures, Elector Johann Friedrich had the Spiral Staircase constructed in 1533. Its design and decoration were intended to enhance the prestige of the Elector. The coats of arms emphasising the Elector’s ancestry underscored the legitimacy of his rule; all guests had to pass these on their way to the banqueting hall. The main portal above the terrace features medallions with portraits of Luther and Melanchthon, thus demonstrating the close association of the Electorate with the Reformation.
The Torgau Spiral Staircase designed by the master builder Konrad Krebs is among the highlights of Renaissance architecture. The free-standing staircase – without a central supporting column and not attached to exterior walls – is unique in the history of architecture and was designed according to completely new structural principles.