STEPS AND STAIRS
Added on: 10th Mar 2014
TIGER & TURTLE, MAGIC MOUNTAIN (DUISBURG, GERMANY).
What may appear from afar as the most thrilling roller coaster of your
life is actually an intricate walkable staircase. German designers
Heike Mutter and Ulrich Genth unveiled their 249-step masterpiece
late last year in Duisburg, Germany, and it's been a local hit ever since.
While the upside down loops are blocked off, the curvy staircase offers
visitors captivating views of the Rhine, with the highest stair rising to
49 yards above sea level. The sculpture is also open at night and
illuminated by led-lights strategically built into the handrails for better visibility.
ESCADARIA SELARÓN (RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL).
The famous steps are a creation by Chilean-born artist Jorge Selarón,
who began renovating the worn-down steps in 1990. Choosing to
paint the stairs in the bright colours of blue, green and yellow, his
simple task soon turned into his greatest artistic passion. Totalling
250 steps and covered in tiles collected from countries around the world.
THE POTEMKIN STAIRS (ODESSA, UKRAINE).
While Odessa's Potemkin Stairs may be the city's most widely
recognized symbol, there is more than meets the eye with
this particular staircase. These steps were designed to create an
optical illusion where nothing is what it seems. From the bottom of
the steps, a person sees only steps but once he reaches the top
and looks down, the steps are invisible, leaving him with a view of
just the landings. Adding to its complexity comes a second
optical illusion in which the steps appear longer when standing at
the bottom of the staircase due to the bottom steps being
constructed wider than those at the top.
16TH AVENUE TILED STEPS (SAN FRANCISCO, CA).
The innovative project was conceived and executed by Irish
ceramicist Aileen Barr and local San Francisco artist,
Collette Crutcher. With over 163 steps, the entire process took more
than two and a half years to complete and required a grass-roots
approach from the local community to raise necessary funds.
Their hard work certainly paid off with over 2000 handmade tiles of tile,
mirror and stained glass. The public masterpiece is located at
16th Avenue and Moraga in the quiet neighbourhood of Golden Gate Heights.
WAYNA PICCHU (AGUAS CALIENTES, PERU).
Sometimes mistaken for Machu Picchu, Wayna Picchu is the
towering mountain seen in most postcards from the Inca Trail.
While the trail in its entirety takes several days, tourists can climb
Wayna Picchu in a few hours. The steps wrap around the mountain,
offering picturesque viewpoints from every angle. Due to the
steep climb and slippery terrain, a maximum of 400 climbers are
permitted per day. If hiking during the rainy season,
be prepared for thick fog and muddy conditions.
HEAVEN'S GATE MOUNTAIN (ZHANGJIAJIE CITY, CHINA).
Reaching Heaven's gate is a bit trickier than most climbs, but with
a name like that travellers know they are in for an extreme
adventure. Visitors to this mountain in China must first take a
cable car that takes them thousands of feet in the air or hop on a
bus that goes along a very narrow mountain road filled with countless
twists and turns. Once at the base of the gaping hole, there are exactly
999 steps leading up to a temple. The latest addition to the mountain
is the "sky walk," which allows tourists to look down at the massive
hole below from clear glass flooring.
STAIRWAY TO THE SKY (XILITLA, MEXICO).
"Stairway to the Sky" located in a tropical rainforest in Mexico.
Edward James' sculpture garden is a true reflection of the poet's
surrealist beliefs. The garden rises to more than 2,000 feet above sea
level and includes roughly eighty acres of natural waterfalls, pools and
concrete sculptures of various designs. The staircase doesn't lead
anywhere in particular, but that's all part of its unique allure.
From the last step, visitors can look out at the entire garden
before descending back down.
THE EXORCIST STEPS (WASHINGTON DC)
Washington DC's famous 97 stone steps located at the end of
M Street gained some serious attention during the filming of the 1973
hit, The Exorcist. Excited Georgetown University students had quite an
entertaining time watching the stuntman fall down the stairs not once
but twice, during filming for the spooky film's climatic final scene.
During the day, the staircase looks rather ordinary, but come nightfall,
the narrow and dimly lit stairs definitely give off an eerie appearance
that might make you wish there was an elevator to ride.