I ALWAYS call them the Spanish Steps but I don’t know why.
For a start they’re pillar box red unlike the ornate stairway in Rome; they are only just over 50 years old as opposed to 300 years; and there are only 86 of them not 135. But they do have a much more interesting name – Jacob’s Ladder.
One thing they have in common is that they climb a steep slope and provide pedestrian access between two significant parts of a city, in this case Edward Street in the Brisbane CBD and Wickham Terrace in Spring Hill.
There was first just a dirt track with rickety wooden railings – little more than a ladder – that went up in about 1921.
The concrete steps were built in 1961 and were slowly wasting away until they were given a good makeover in 2009.
The steps run beside King Edward Park so there’s always the option of taking the scenic route on a footpath winding through the park that’s scattered with sculptures.
At the bottom of the steps is a heritage-listed 1942 bomb shelter under a huge old fig tree.