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Chkalov Staircase (Чкаловская лестница) (Nizhny Novgorod)

Chkalov Stairs (Nizhny Novgorod)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Description of Chkalov Staircase

Chkalov Stairs (Nizhny Novgorod)

Chkalov Staircase is one of the popular places in Nizhny Novgorod. It was constructed in 1943- 49 on the banks of Volga river under supervision of architects Munz, Yakovlev and Rudnev. It has a shape of a giant 8 with 450 stairs that lead from Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin to Volga river below. Chkalov Staircase was dedicated in honor of Valery Chkalov, famous Russian pilot. He became famous in 1937 as a first man who flew nonstop from Moscow to Vancouver across the North Pole. His statue stands today at the top of the architectural ensemble. In 1985 a military gun boat "Geroy" or Hero was established at the base of the stairs. It served Russian Army during Stalingrad Battle. It transported thousands of soldiers across the Volga River.

 

During the Russian Empire and until the mid-1940s of the 20th century, the site of the Chkalov Stairs was called the Volga slope. It was one of the most popular places among Nizhny Novgorod residents and visitors. At the top was a semicircular ledge from which a view of the floodplain of Bor. Now there is a monument to Chkalov.

The first ideas for the construction of the stairs on the Volga slope was put forward by Alexander Shulpin, the chairman of the Gorky City Executive Committee, in 1939. The stairs were to connect the center of the city with the Volga, and outdo the Potemkin Stairs in Odessa. But the realisation of the project was prevented by World War II (Eastern Front).

The realisation of the plans was delayed until 1943. That year, Gorky began actively rebuilding the destroyed buildings and industrial enterprises after the German bombing. Then Shulpin began to promote his idea again. In the same year he went on a business trip to Moscow and presented the project to the Leningrad architects Alexander Yakovlev, Lev Rudnev and Vladimir Munts. When the agreement was received, the Moscow government allocated money for the construction of this grandiose staircase in honor of the victory of the Battle of Stalingrad. The staircase itself was to be called the Stalingrad Stairs. Construction was started the same year, carried out by German prisoners. The staircase was inaugurated in 1949. The chairman of the city executive committee spent about 7 million rubles on its construction, and was arrested for embezzling public funds in the Leningrad affair. He was accused of corruption and sent to Murmansk. He was rehabilitated after Stalin's death.

 

 

 

Chkalov staircase is one of the most recognizable landmarks of the city. On the Chkalov Stairs they arrange sports races. In 1985 a monument to the boat Hero was erected at the foot of the stairs The boat was popular with the newlyweds. Until 2008, its propellers were constantly decorated with colored ribbons. To somehow prevent this, metal structures were installed. The last restoration of Chkalov staircase was carried out in 2012-2013.

 

 

 


 

Transportation

 

Hotels, motels and where to sleep

 

Restaurant, taverns and where to eat

 

Cultural (and not so cultural) events

 

Interesting information and useful tips

 

 

 

 

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