UK Stair Parts have previously written about the Stairway to Heaven, the world’s longest straight staircase, situated on St. Helena. That staircase’s 699 steps would take a titanic effort to climb but although it’s longest straight flight of the stairs on the planet, there are longer staircases to be found.
And the daddy of them all towers way above the Stairway to Heaven. Climbing high above the Alps, the staircase that goes up the side of the Niesen is the longest staircase in the world, covering a distance of 3.5 kilometres and reaching a height of almost 1.7 kilometres. In total, there are 11,674 steps from bottom to top and walking up would take several hours.
Thankfully, the staircase is only open one day a year – the day of the Niesenlauf, an annual race up to the top. For the rest of the year, the staircase is out of bounds as it runs alongside the mountain’s funicular railway, the Niesenbahn. The railway track traverses the peak, nicknamed with Pyramid of the Alps, due to its triangular shape.
The Niesen has a peak height of 2,362 metres – not a giant by any means – but an incredible challenge for those brave enough to take on the stairs. And it’s not one for the sprinters. The most recent winning time was one hour, 23 minutes and 23 seconds. If you bear in mind the average time for running the equivalent distance on the flat would be just under 20 minutes, you can start to comprehend just how steep the staircase is. In fact, it reaches the maximum incline of 68% in places!
With the staircase closed to the public for safety reasons, you’ll have to look elsewhere if you want to find a long flight of stairs to climb. There are many unusual and largely unknown staircases around the world that deserve attention so keep an eye on this blog for more stories of staircases you may not have known about.