Dec 03 2012

Strange buildings in the desert

Viking Explorer came across a note on the Norwegian Forum “Tur paa Hjul” about an interesting staircase in Morocco called “Himmelstreppe” or “Stairway to Heaven”.  It wasn’t that far off our own route through Morocco, and so we added it to the itinerary.

Heading west from Erfoud, and dodging a few very determined touts, we made our way to the desert building Himmelsteppe.  This looks like a set of stairs that climb 16m upwards into the sky – and then stop.  The reality is that there is accommodation inside the structure, accessed from the top.  We were unable toenter as we hadn’t taken a guide.  This was designed and built by the German architect Hannesjorg Voth in 1987.

Once finished exploring this unique structure, we saw another building in the distance – presumably a hotel – and headed over to find out more.  This turned out (we later investigated) to be the “City of Orion” (Stadt des Orion) – another creation by Voth, completed in 2003. This time without accommodation.  The “city” is laid out according to the constellation Orion, with the height of each tower representing the brightness of the particular star.  Remarkable construction, but at that time we visited though, we were utterly confused about the intention of the building.

There is also a third in the series (so to speak) which we would have driven past had we taken a slightly different road.  It is known as “Golden Spiral (Goldene Spiralene) which was completed in 1997.

So, if you are in the area, it is worth taking a slight detour to see and experience some rather unique architecture in an unusual setting.


  1. Ralph

    Oh I love this! My cameras would’ve so had a field day here.

    1. African GirlChild

      Ralph – it was truly exceptional! So very creative!

Comments have been disabled.

Hit Counter provided by short sale specialist