As a rule, it is architectural structures that appropriate all the glory as the sights of any country. But sometimes the stairs leading to the very monuments deserve no less attention. Traveling along the 10 most fantastic and unrealistic stairs will make you admire and shudder at the same time.
1. Stairs on the sacred mountain Huashan (China)
Mount Huashan is considered sacred, therefore, at the very top (2130 meters!) There are monasteries where not only monks and pilgrims, but also desperate tourists keep their most dangerous, and sometimes deadly path.
They move along narrow bridges hanging over a deep abyss, climb vertical steps carved into the rock. More than half of the trails are without railings, and only the most dangerous crossings are equipped with fixed chains. Only strong and healthy people can overcome this path, so not everyone is allowed to climb.
2. Stairs leading to the temple of Angkor Wat (Cambodia)
Angkor Wat is a huge temple complex, which is unparalleled both in beauty and in the safety of the building itself. After all, it was erected in the first half of the XII century in honor of the Hindu god Vishnu. The height of the structure is 65 meters, so to get inside such a monumental structure, you need to climb the stairs, which have a significant slope of 70 degrees.
And such a difficult ascent is explained by the fact that Buddhist monks wanted to remind people of the incredibly difficult path to heaven. Nowadays, this is the most iconic place for Buddhists around the world, so they rush to it, overcoming such steep stairs.
3. Extreme stairs in the Taihang mountains (China)
Located in the western part of the Taihang Mountains in the Shanxi province, this unusual staircase was created to tickle the nerves of tourists and thrill-seekers.
In order to get to the most picturesque and secluded places, over a crevice in which a mountain stream flows, iron rods were driven into the rock with narrow steps fixed to them. There are no railings provided. For elementary insurance, they extended a metal chain, which you can hold on to when passing through such a dangerous section of the path.
4. Ladder Gastelugache (Spain)
This delightful staircase is located on the island of Gaztelugatxe in Spain. It connects the island to the mainland and was built in the 10th century. Its rapid ascent leads to the top of the hill, on which the Temple of the Templars is located.
Over the many centuries of the existence of this unusual place, it has acquired a mass of incredible legends and various beliefs, thanks to which the island has become a very popular tourist and pilgrimage area. People rush here with the hope of healing and a miracle.
5. Staircase of Dreams (Japan)
A staircase was created on Awaji Island and is a unique complex with numerous unusual exhibits and a delightful garden located on 100 levels. This stunning garden is designed as a memorial to the victims of the 1995 Kobe earthquake. Here you can walk for a long time on the steps between the flower beds, each of which is unique and inimitable, peacefully reflecting on the meaning of life.
6. Spiral staircase in Lingzhou (China)
This staircase is located in the Tiaihan Mountains and was created to connect with a distant mountain village, and now serves as an unusual entertainment for tourists. Locals call it “Stairway to Heaven”. Climbing it is a kind of imitation of climbing a 91.5 m high mountain, but without climbing equipment. The steps of this spiral staircase, like a huge boa constrictor, wrap around an iron pole, installed perpendicular to the ground. Not everyone is allowed to climb it, because it is a very difficult and dangerous entertainment.
7. Steps leading to the waterfall “Devil’s Cup” (Ecuador)
This famous Canyon staircase leads to the majestic “Devil’s Cup” (Pailon del Diablo) waterfall, which is located on the Pastaza River, near the town of Banos.
This waterfall is famous not only for its unusual winding staircase, but also for the through tunnel through which they pass to its other side. This allows you to see a stunning spectacle – a falling wall of water from within the waterfall itself.
8. Staircase of the King of Aragon (France)
The staircase (Escalier du roi) is located on the island of Corsica and is one of the most dizzying structures in the world. It runs along the walls of the city of Bonifacio and is carved into a sheer rock. The angle of its rise is not very steep, about 45 degrees (compared to the previous stairs), but to overcome the whole path, you need to climb 187 stone steps.
And it passes over the sea, so during the ascent there is an opportunity to admire the amazing seascape. The staircase has a unique feature – due to the special design, during the ascent there is an incredible feeling of “falling up”, due to the fact that under your feet there is a blue, amazingly transparent sea.
9. “Heaven’s Gate” Tianmen and the road leading to them (China)
This long staircase of 999 steps rises to an amazing arch (Tianmen Cave) that was formed in the Tianmen Mountains back in 263 AD. and has an incredible height – 131 m. Therefore, there is a feeling for everyone ascending to it that they are going straight to heaven. Such a number of steps was carved not by chance, because according to ancient Chinese philosophy, everyone who overcomes 999 steps will comprehend eternal joy.
Of particular note is the road leading to heaven, which was built from 1998 to 2006, with a length of 11 kilometers. It is even hard to imagine, but it starts its dizzying ascent from 200 meters below sea level and ends at an altitude of 1300 meters above sea level.
Of course, there is an alternative to such a long and difficult journey – the cable car, the length of which is 7455 meters, which has become the longest in the world. But such a long journey is worth it, because fantastic horizons of the picturesque area open before tourists.
10. “Stairway to Heaven” in Hawaii (USA)
The staircase leading to the very sky, consists of 3922 steps and is located on the picturesque island of Oahu. It is one of the most beautiful and impressive routes created by man.
When you climb its steps up to the very top, which is almost always shrouded in thick fog, you get the feeling of an unrealistic entry into the clouds.