Potemkin stairs

World known Stair

Potemkin Stairs - one of the most famous Odessa sights. It is included in list of must-see places not only in our city, but in whole Ukraine. This gigantic structure is a symbolic front door to city. Any traveler of 19th century, sailing to shore, was struck by monumentality of such parade ensemble of Odessa. Its name Potemkin stairs received after movie of Sergei Eisenstein "Battleship Potemkin". Scene on steps of this film saw whole world and they served as inspiration to many generations of filmmakers.

History of the Stair

Potemkin Stairs Odessa Ukraine old postcard

Potemkin Stairs Odessa

Potemkin Stairs was created in 1842 year. Starting from Primorsky boulevard, the staircase descended directly to Black sea. At the top of it located monument to Duke de Richelieu, or as he is called in Odessa – Duke. Behind that monument are two yellow, semi-circular buildings that form a small square. This place visit all guests of our city, since it is a face of Odessa. Potemkin Stairs received its name after release of Sergei Eisenstein’s film – Battleship Potemkin. That movie, when baby carriage rolled down the stairs, flew all over the world. After this event, Soviet government decided to give it a name in honor of first Russian revolution. Since that stair takes its place amid other Odessa attractions.

What to do here

Potemkin Stairs are not just steps. During city holidays there is a music scene. During Odessa Film Festival, steps of this stairs become a kind of amphitheater for spectators. At the bottom of it placed large screen where shows masterpieces of world cinema. On both sides of Potemkin Stairs are two parks: Istanbul and Greek. This is a modern place where you can relax from heat under shade of trees, walking in this part of city. Today, Potemkin Stairs serve as a descent to marina station and berths, where you can go for a walk to see Vorontsov lighthouse.

You can make your walk on foot, or go down by the funicular. Odessa funicular is reminder that once our city introduced many technical innovations that appeared in the world. The fact is that there is no need for a funicular to descend. Potemkin Stairs arranged in such a way that, when climbing or descending, pedestrian manages to rest on its flights. Therefore, in some ways the funicular is here for beauty. But you can always use it if you do not want to go up yourself.

Stairs and people

Potemkin Stairs also symbol of challenge. Many years ago young city accepted the challenge of this harsh terrain, and in spite of everything it was able to flourish and strengthen itself. So in subsequent times Potemkin Stairs become a place of this kind of challenge, which people accept. In Odessa City Garden you can see a small sculpture of a man with a paper airplane in his hands. At the dawn of 20th century, professional bicyclist and balloonist Sergei potemkin stairs sergey utochkinUtochkin descended this stairs first on a bicycle, then on a motorcycle, and then on a car. Since then, this feat with using of other means of transportation, try to repet many people. Jaroslav Harechko, captain of team kvn, descended Potemkin Stairs on skis. During celebration of Odessa Humorina, ordinary taxi driver Yefim Vydomsky moved down this stairs on his taxi-car.
When there is enough snow in Odessa, and this happens very rarely, snowboarders use stairs as a slope. Every year on September 2, when Odessa celebrates its birthday, a run is made along Stairs. Participants at a speed rise on it from port to Duke. Record time of this race is 22.8 seconds.
In 2018, Odessa athlete Artem Dmitruk climbed this Stairs with 100kg barbell on his shoulders. Athlete dedicated his rise to a healthy lifestyle.

Potemkin Stairs

Treasure of European Film Culture

Potemkin Stairs and cinematography

July 11, 2015, during 6th International Film Festival in Odessa, the European Film Academy installed a commemorative sign on Potemkin Stairs. A memorial tablet means that this Stairs is on the list of “treasures of European film culture”. Potemkin Staircase is one of most famous architectural landmarks of Odessa in the history of cinematography. Film Academy of Europe sets memorable signs in symbolic places for European cinema. So these locations need to be saved for future generations. Such a tablet installed on the house in Lyon, where Lumiere brothers born, considered inventors of camera. In Moscow, such a sign is open in a special office, where Sergei Eisenstein worked. On a small island in Sweden, where famous director Ingmar Bergman spent a lot of time, and then was buried. One of such tablets set in museum of Tonino Guerra, dedicated to works of this outstanding man.