The world is greatly full of beautiful, majestic architectural staircases and these flights of steps from round the globe will make you save a breath for. Each staircase has some historical tale associated with it, which is even fantasizing then the beauty.
So, without wasting the time, take a look at these 10 fantastic stairways that never fail to strike humanity with awe.
10. Tiger Cave Temple, Thailand
A temple dedicated to Buddha, the Tiger Cave in Krabi, Thailand has a total of 1237 steps, some of which are greater that a foot in height. Two short stairways merge to form a staircase that leads to a magnificent and glorious statue of Buddha. The idol scales 278 meters in height and is built atop the 600 meters high temple. Another stairway with 184 steps ends in the limestone cave at the foothills, where the monks reside.
9. Schlossberg Stairs, Graz, Austria
In the Austrian town of Graz, lies a clock tower called the Schlossberg clock tower, which is visible from everywhere in the city. From atop this famous tower all parts of Graz and its nearby surroundings can be seen. The view is breathtaking, and to be capable of appreciating such beauty one needs to climb up the Schlossberg stairs. The staircase has a total of 260 steps that are carved out in the rock face of the Schlossberg hill.
8. Bahaí Gardens, Haifa, Israel
The Bahaí gardens in Haifa, in Israel, are extremely impressive and very beautifully maintained. They surround the white marble Bahai shrine and is considered a UNESCO World Heritage site. A remarkable staircase of 1700 stairs and 19 terraces can be appreciated in the Bahai Gardens. This stairway extends up to the northern slope of Mount Carmel, and two streams cascade down through these steps and terrace bridges. Stone steps lead down the slope to the mystical Hanging gardens. The location is considered as the eighth wonder in the world.
7. Heaven’s Gate Mountain, Zhangjiajie City, China
For those seeking adventure, the Heaven’s Gate Mountain in the Chinese city of Zhangjiajie offers a great one. This staircase leads to a temple and in order to begin the climb, visitors have to first ride the cable car lifting them thousands of feet higher than ground level or board a bus that journeys up a narrow, curved mountainous path with innumerable twists and turns. Either of these would get one to the base of a massive hole, where the 999 steps await to be ascended. Of late, a Skywalk has been installed that allows tourists to be able to see from the clear glass floor, the massive hole below.
6. Santorini Stairway, Greece
Built in 1715, by the inhabitants of the Greek island of Santorini, this zigzag stairway has a distance of about 1300 meters between either ends. With a total of 657 steps, each about 4 inches tall in height, the Santorini stairway is paved in stone and extends from the sea to the city. To help with the ascent and descent, a number of donkeys are available at the location. There is a cable car too installed for transportation.
5. Bueren Mountain, Belgium
A misnomer, the Montagne de Bueren or Bueren Mountain is actually a flight of 374 steps and not an actual mountain, connecting the top of the hill to the centre of the city of Liege, in Belgium. In 1881, to allow soldiers to move downhill to the city, without having to traverse dangerous alleys, this great construction was carried out. It has been christened Bueren Mountain after Vincent de Bueren, a 15th century aristocrat, who defended the city, when the Duke of Burgundy opened an attack on Liege. The steps end at a renowned, but largely destroyed the citadel that once played a vital function in the defence of the city. The beautiful view of Liege and the Meus River can be obtained from the top of this stairway.
4. Potemkin Stairs, Ukraine
This gigantic staircase is located in Odessa, in the Ukraine. They are a flight of steps from the sea to the city and are considered as an entrance into Odessa. Also referred to as the Richelieu steps, Boulevard steps, or the Giant Staircase, this stairway consists of 200 steps. The uppermost step measures 12.5 meters in width, and the lowest is 21.7 meters wide. Though the staircase extends for 142 meters, it creates and optical illusion of a greater length. Looking down the stairs, from above one can see only the landings, while looking up one visualise only the steps. This piece of architecture also features in the movie Battleship Potemkin.
3. Awaji Hyakudanen, Japan
The Awaji Hyakudanen was built as a memorial of the Great Hanshin earthquake that struck Japan on January 17, 1995. This 100-level garden, or “Hyakudanen” in Japanese, was built on the side of a mountain half of which found its use as sea-fill during the construction of artificial islands in Osaka Bay. This magnificent garden consists of 100 squares of smaller terraced gardens. It has a total of 1575 steps and 235 total flights.
2. Canyon Staircase, Ecuador
Built next to the renowned waterfall Paílón del Diablo on the Pastaza River, the Canyon Staircase is a major tourist attraction in Ecuador, besides the waterfall itself. The term Paílón del Diablo means “cauldron of the devil” in the literal context. This breathtakingly beautiful location is about 30 minutes from Ecuador’s town Banos and the twisted staircase is a delight to see.
1. Chand Baori, Rajasthan, India
An Indian architectural marvel, the Chand Baori is actually a step well located in Abhaneri, in the state of Rajasthan. Due to the scarcity of water in this arid region, this structure was constructed to store water. The Chand Baori comprises 3500 steps and has 16 storeys, extending to 100 feet. It also featured in the Hollywood movie The Dark Knight Rises.
Well, if just reading that got you out of breath, it would be apt to re-emphasize on a known saying that goes thus, “There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs.”