Monday, November 01, 2010

More About Stairs

The stairs are one of the oldest buildings in architectural history; they have always played a central role in the history of humanity. Although it is difficult to tell exactly in which year they were born, it is believed its appearance was by the year 6000 before Christ.

The stairs seem to change shape with the change of architectural eras, reflecting the trends used in different ages and revealing the talent of those who designed them.

The first stairs in history were wood trunks fitted together; this kind was used to acquire strategic positions for survival. In a basic sense, the first use which was given to the stairs was to overcome the difficulties presented by the terrain. The goal was to be able to pass these difficulties as soon as possible: moving up often meant to a place of greater security which could have meant the difference between life and death.

Although they first emerged as a solution to a problem, in China the first granite staircase leading to the sacred mountain in Tai Shan indicated that one of the utilities given to the stairs was for religious purposes.

Confucius, in one of his stories, was said to have gone up this ladder to the top in the year 55 BC. Other examples of stairs built for religious purposes are: the biblical Jacob's ladder, the tower of Babel, the pyramids of Egypt that had stairs, the celestial ladder of Shantung in China, and the stairs in India --a peculiarity of them is they had also scientific utility. (Unknown source.)