How often to you walk into a building and look up at the ceiling? You should do it more often.

Many great structures have great ceilings, and I love looking at up at them. Sometimes they are grand rotundas or colorful coffers. Other times they have spectacular stained glass and skylights or elaborate murals and mosaics. Some of the world’s greatest art is found on ceilings such as Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. Too often we just hurry on our way not looking up or down but straight ahead or, in our ever increasing wirelessly connected life, at the electronic device in our hands. When you walk through the streets of a grand city such as New York or Hong Kong, you have to look up to truly experience the place. The same goes for a visit to the redwood groves of California. So next time you’re in a special place, look up and experience something more. I can’t guarantee that all ceilings will be spectacular, but the ones that are you will only see if you look up regularly.

Now, from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, a thought about ceilings:

“Luna had decorated her bedroom ceiling with five beautifully painted faces: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, and Neville. They were not moving as the portraits at Hogwarts moved, but there was a certain magic about them all the same: Harry thought they breathed. What appeared to be fine golden chains wove around the pictures, linking them together, but after examining them for a minute or so, Harry realized that the chains were actually one word, repeated a thousand times in golden ink: friends . . . friends . . . friends . . .”

Just remember, all over the world, magnificent ceilings are above us. This collection of images includes magnificent ceilings from around the world.

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