The Potemkin Stairs connects the port and the historical center of Odessa, which is on the high bank. Perhaps, it is the most interesting sight of Odessa, which is then remembered by all the guests of the city.
The Potemkin Stairs was built by the prince Vorontsov who was the governor-general of Novorossiya (New Russia) at the beginning of the 19 century. In 1825 he commissioned the project to the architect F. Boffo who built it between 1837 and 1841. At the head of the stairs there was installed the monument to the founder of Odessa, Duc de Richelieu, a descendant of the notorious cardinal Richelieu.
The stairs had various names: Richelieu´s, Vorontsovskaya, Bulvarnaya and Portovaya. Officially it was given the name of Potemkin only in the middle of the 20 century, after the scenes from the well-known film «Potemkin Battleship» by Eisenstein had been shot on the stairs.
Originally, the stairs had 10 flights of 20 steps each, that is, 200 steps, but after the reconstruction of the port 8 steps were hidden under the embankment, and now there remained only 192 steps. Because of such a great scale the stairs was even called Gigantic. Visually, the Potemkin Stairs seems to be larger as the width of its steps increases from the top downwards, and if the upper steps are 12 meters wide, then the width of the lower steps is 21 meters.
From the port you can go up the Potemkin Stairs to the Primorsky Boulevard. If you turn to the left at the Potemkin Stairs, you will reach the Archaeological Museum and the Odessa Opera Theatre and if you turn to the right at the Potemkin Stairs, you will reach the Vorontsovsky palace and the Shah`s palace, as well as the quarters of the Old Town of Odessa.