30 Artistic Ceilings From Around the World

Lying in bed would be an altogether perfect and supreme experience if only one had a colored pencil long enough to draw on the ceiling.

Ceilings are the closest mankind has come to imitating the natural dome of the world - the skies. We look up wanting to see beauty above us, unattained and etheral, yet soothing and wondrous. These ceilings from all over the world make me want to visit these places, so I can gaze in captivated amazement and the artful ideas expressed there. These are truly inspired.

Hall of Mirrors,Versailles, France

Abbey Library of Saint Gall, Switzerland

Salon Urbain in Montreal, Canada

Shāh Chérāgh mosque in Shiraz, Iran

Tiffany Company tile mosaic at the Marshall Field's Building in Chicago, Illinois

Galeries Lafayette in Paris

Los Angeles Public Library

Home entrance room, Cape Town, South Africa

Cosmovitral in Toluca, Mexico

Hall of the Two Sisters, Alhambra, Spain

Bank of Commerce Building in Toronto, Canada

The Peacock Room at Sammezzano Castle in Italy

Metro station in Naples, Italy

La Sagrada Família Church in Barcelona, Spain

Chamber of Human Rights and the Alliance of Civilizations at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland

Terrace at the Gramercy Park Hotel in New York City

Admont Abbey Library, Austria

Mirror Room of the Royal Palace in Brussels, Belgium (the green is actually made from 1.6 million beetles)

Hall of Ambassadors at the Alcázar of Seville, Spain

National Assembly Building in Wales

Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico, Mexico City

Summer Palace in Beijing, China

Trinity College Library in Ireland

Glass ceiling by Chihuly at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas

Victorian State Library, Australia

Pool at the Lausanne Palace Spa in Switzerland

British Museum in London

Marrakech Menara Airport in Morocco

Elektrozavodskaya Metro Station in Moscow, Russia

Nishi Grand Stair Interior in Canberra, Australia

I couldn't forgive myself if I didn't include the most famous ceiling of all - the Sistine Chapel

Gilbert K. Chesterton

The Fastest Trains in the World

The invention of the train is what turned America into a superpower. It changed overland travel, reducing the time it took from months and weeks to days and hours. As the technology advanced, many gave up on trains as a form of transportation in favor of airplanes, but train technology took incredible steps ahead as well. These trains zoom between destinations in speeds cars can only dream about.

10. TSHR 700T

This train runs the line between Taipei and Kaohsiung in Taiwan. With a top speed of 300Km/h (185mph), the THSR 700T shortened travel time between these two cities from 4 hours to 1.5 hours. The initial investment for the production of the first 30 trains cost approximately $3.4 billion.

9. ETR Frecciarossa Trains

These refurbished trains travel at speeds of 300Km/h (185mph) between Rome and Milan, Italy. They are equipped with climate-control and an advanced silencing system, as well as ergonomic seats meant to provide with the utmost comfort for passengers.

8. TVG Duplex

It took eight years to develop the TGV Duplex. It has 512 seats, divided into upper and lower decks. It’s built of light-weight aluminum and mainly runs on the Paris-Marsalis line, as well as several others. (Top speed – 300Km/h)

7. Alstom Euroduplex

This train’s career began in 2011 and was the only one of its series to be upgraded to a duplex train capable of running at 320Km/h (198mph), while carrying 1,020 passengers. These trains were designed to work in Germany, France, Switzerland and Luxemburg.

6. 320E5 Series Shinkansen Hayabusa

The fastest train in Japan entered service in 2011 and can reach speeds of 320Km/h (198mph). The train was designed with a unique elongated “nose” to reduce the noise it creates as it travels through the many tunnels along its path.

5. Taglo (T350)

Nicknamed “The Duck” thanks to the elongated front end, this train will take you from Barcelona or Madrid to Valladolid in Spain, and in speeds of 350Km/h (217mph).

4. Siemens Velaro E / AVS 103

The fourth fastest train in the world travels the line between Madrid and Barcelona on a track measuring 621Km (385 miles). It is the fastest train in Spain and reaches speeds of 350Km/h, though during one ride it went as fast as 403Km/h (250mph)!

3. AVG Italo

The most modern train in Europe started its service in 2012 and runs the Naples-Rome-Florence-Milan-Bologna line. This 360Km/h (223mph) train is known for its comfortable seats, low maintenance, energy efficiency and the quietness of the cabins.

2. Harmony CRH 380E

If you travel between Shanghai and Beijing, take the Harmony lines. It took four and a half years to build the tracks, cost upwards of $17 billion and is now the world’s second-fastest train. Before the construction of this line, the 1,000Km (621 miles) drive would take about 10 hours. Now, this long ride takes less than 3 hours, and the train rockets at speeds of 380Km/h (236mph).

1. Shanghai Maglev

The journey from Shanghai to Shanghai Airport only takes 7 minutes and 20 seconds, thanks to the incredible maglev train. This train uses magnets to levitate above the tracks, thus reducing friction and reaching speeds of 430Km/h (267mph).

Bonus: The Hyperloop

In late 2013, the CEO of Tesla Motors, Mr. Elon Musk, introduced his plans to revolutionize transportation by constructing a Hyperloop train. The Hyperloop is an enclosed track in a vacuum, in which pressurized capsules carry people and cargo at speeds of between 962Km/h and 1,220 Km/h (598mph – 760mph). Such speeds will mean that travel between New York and Los Angeles would only take 45 minutes!

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