The stairs descending from Primorsky Blvd. to the
port, were design by Avraam Melnikov, a St. Petersburg
architect, and F.
K. Boffo in 1825. The stairs were built in 1837-1841
in classical style.
were made famous to many people in the former Soviet
Union by the 1925 film "Battleship Potemkin"
by Sergey Einenstein. This film glorified the June
14, 1905 mutiny
of the battleship Potemkin.
to Potemkin sailor monument, for history of the mutiny.)
Soviet revolution, the Primorsky Stairs where renamed
Potemkin Stairs to honor the memory of the Battleship
Potemkin. After Ukrainian independence, like many
streets in Odessa, the Potemkin Stairs name was returned
to their original name, Primorsky Stairs. All Odessites
still know and refer to the stairs after their Soviet
Photo by Galen
Frysinger and Corbis.com
The stairs height is 30 meters, its length 140 meters.
It has ten flights of stairs and ten landings.
were originally made of grayish-green sandstone brought
from the extreme northeastern Italian town of Trieste
(at the time it was an Austrian town). In 1933, because
of years of erosion, the stairs were reconstructed
the stairs had 200 steps, today there are only 192
steps. Eight lower steps were buried when the foundation
of the port was extended.
possess some igneous optical illusions.
down the stairs a person can only see the landings.
On either side are parapets which seem parallel. This
was created by gradually widening the stairways downwards.
The top stair is 12.5 meters (41 feet) and the bottom
step is 21.6 meters (70.8 feet).
base of the stairs, a person can only see the stairs,
and cannot see the landings. The stairway appears
longer than it is in reality.
photo by Galen
East of the stairway is a now derelict elevator, built
in 1970, which broke down in the mid-1990's.