An idea of this parade stairs belonged to famous architect Melnikov and lied in the whole Boulevard’s plan. This plan was approved by Tsar Nikolay I in 15 June 1826. Grandiose stairs was built in 1841.
An author of the project – architect Boffo – made the proportions of the construction very well, comfortable and logical. It’s width is 12.5 meters at the top, and 21.6 at the bottom. Some technical and constructive problems were fixed by the engineers Morozov, Uopton, and others. Stairs consists 200 steps – 10 marches by 20 steps and 10 landings. It’s longitude is 142 meters, and height – is 24 meters. From the beginning this stairs descended right to the sea shore.
Potemkinskaya stairs created on the place where was another one stairs, which was carved into the shell rock. It leaded to the Turkish fortress Eni-Dunia. Later there was one wooden stairs with 220 steps in total, and it also descended to the sea.
Some features of this stairs are very interesting. If you will look from the top you will be able to see just landings (besides the upper march) parapets seems to be parallel. It’s visible effect which occurs because of gradual enlargement of the stairs. At the same time, if you will look from the bottom, you will see no landings at all. In front of you will extend the continuous cascade of steps, and whole stairs will seem bigger.
It was an idea of the stairs creators. An art to enforce the perspective, visually enlarged the longitude and give it a majestic appearance.
Steps and landings were covered by the Trieste stone, which was brought by ships, coming for the wheat grain. Side parapets was two meters high and were made from the local coquina. In 1933 during the restoration of the stairs steps were veneered by the pink-gray granite.
This stairs has had a lot of names since it’s creation. It vas Gigantskaya (Giant), Bulvarnaya (Boulevard), Gorodskaya (City). After the release of the Sergey Eisenshtain’s famous movie “Battleship Potemkin”, this stairs received the name Potemkinskaya, because some most effect and hilarious scenes were filmed right there.
Odessa’s writer Uyriy Olesha wrote: “…famous stairs of Odessa get into the humans memory same as Eiffel tower and Milan Cathedral after the famous movie “Battleship Potemkin”.
About this stairs wrote and another literati: Nechui-Levitskiy, Garin, Grin, Twen, Svirskiy, Ostrovskiy, Polonskiy, Chukovskiy, and others.
Now stairs has 192 steps. Eight of them were backfilled when Primorskaya street (Suvorova in the past) was lifted to the nowadays level.