The Potemkin Stairs, a giant staircase in Odessa, Ukraine.
Eric Nathan/© Eric Nathan
Designed by Swiss-Italian architect Francesco Boffo as a grand entryway to the city, this legendary staircase once led directly to the sea. The stairs were the site of a 1905 battle between mutinous sailors and forces loyal to Czar Nicholas II; the actual events that led to the confrontation remain unclear, but they’ve been eclipsed by the dramatized version in renowned director Sergei Eisenstein’s most famous film, Battleship Potemkin. In all, there are 192 steps and the staircase measures just over 140 meters long; visitors can take a funicular to the top of the stairs.