Big Mithridat staircase is one of the most beloved Kerch attractions of Kerchians and visitors. 432 steps lead to the summit of Mount Mithridates, located in the heart of the city on the shore of the Kerch Strait.
Big Mitridat ladder got its name from Mount Mithridates, on which it is located. Mount Mithridates was named in memory of the glorious historical past, in honor of ancient King Mithridates (whose full name - Pontus Mithridates VI Eupator). Mithridates was the King of Bosporus. In ancient Panticapaeum on Mount Mithridates was located a magnificent palace of Mithridates.
A talented military leader, Mithridates Eupator expanded ownership of the Bosporus state due to constant wars with the powerful Roman Empire. The Romans were driven out of Greece and Asia Minor. According to a legend, King Mithridates was afraid of possible poisoning by his enemy, and therefore took the poison in small doses every day. When his own son rebelled against Mithridates, King decided to escape from life. He took a strong poison, but the death did not come to him. Prophylactic of poisoning worked. A proud king asked his servant to stab him with a sword. Since then and to this day there are legends about the incredible treasures of Mithridates...
Big Mitridatskaya staircase was built in the 30s of the 19th century, a project developed by the Italian architect Alexander Digby. Decorative vases and stone griffins - fabulous lions with heads and wings of an eagle - symbols of the city - decorated staircase’s viewing platform. In Kerch city appeared decoration and a favorite place for strolling of townspeople. On the stairs you may see a wide panorama of the central part of Kerch. At the top of the mountain at that time was a museum of antiquities - a copy of the Athenian Temple of Theseus. Big Mitridatskaya staircase survived intact until the Crimean War of 1853-1856, and during the shelling of the city from the ships the museum and stairs were damaged.
After 130 years staircasee was restored. In the ground were found remains of stone sculptures, and Kerch sculptor Roman V. Serdyuk exactly copied them. Now on the upper tier of stairs sit restored winged stone lions with heads of eagles - Griffins.