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Must See Places in Odessa: Potemkinsky Ladder

17. September 2009 by Celeste 0 Comments

Potemkinsky Ladder in Odessa, Ukraine

In Odessa you can find the well-known, 192 step Potemkinsky Ladder. Prince Vorontsov presented it to his wife Elizabeth and paid about 800 thousand roubles, which was considered big money in the early 1800s.  During the Soviet period, the steps were renamed in honour of revolt on a battleship "Potyomkin" in 1905. Before the revolution the ladder was called the Richelieu Steps because on a top there is a monument to the count Duke to De Rishele, the city founder. The construction of this huge ladder had begun in 1837 and was finished in 1841. The author of the project was architect F.Boffo, who had deliberately developed construction proportions. The ladder’s width on the top is 12.3 metres and at the bottom is it 21.6 metres. Initially the ladder had 200 steps, later, at a lay-out of the Seaside Street, eight steps were covered with ground, and they, according to words of the old residents, are hidden in depth of a public road.


This ladder is built at the place of another one made from a shell rock. It led to the Turkish fortress of Eni-Dunja. Then there was a wooden one containing 220 steps and it led down to the sea to bathing coast.


Some features of this construction are very interesting. So, at first sight only platforms (except the top march) from above are visible. Ladder parapets seem to be parallel. This visual effect is created because of gradual expansion of a ladder from the top to the bottom. If to look from below, platforms disappear. We see continuous cascade of steps and ladder seems to be grown. It was the core idea of its founders. They wanted to strengthen its perspective by enlarging length of the ladder, and to give it majestic view. Its steps and platforms were covered with Triest`s stone delivered with ships that came here to get bread. Side parapets were made from the local shell rock. In 1933 during reconstruction steps were replaced with pink-gray granite.


It is a magnificent place from which you can enjoy an amazing view on the picturesque Port of Odessa. The flying sea-gulls and the ships that are moored in the harbour will arouse the most positive and splendid feelings in your heart! And this is the best place for you and your match to walk, take unforgettable pictures and even look at sunset!