Lighthouses of Russia: Kaliningrad

In addition to the coast of the St. Petersburg region, Russia has a second western coastline on the central Baltic in Kaliningrad. At the end of World War II, the Potsdam agreement of 1945 partitioned the German province of East Prussia, assigning the southern half to Poland and the northern half to the Soviet Union. The Soviets changed the name of the principal city in their new territory from Königsberg to Kaliningrad and organized the territory as the Kaliningrad Oblast (province) of the Russian Federation. When the Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991, Kaliningrad became, in effect, a Russian colony on the Baltic, separated from the rest of Russia by the newly independent nations of Lithuania and Belarus.

In the Soviet Union, most or all of the Kaliningrad Oblast was closed to foreign visitors. Conditions have become much more free, and tourism is encouraged. However, we have little or no information on the accessibility of lighthouses. Photos and visitor reports would be welcome.

Russian lighthouses are maintained and operated by the Russian Navy, although some of them have civilian keepers. The Russian word for a lighthouse is mayak (маяк); mys is a cape or headland.

Curly braces {} enclose the former German names of the light stations.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volume C of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 116.

General Sources
Online List of Lights - Baltic Russia
Photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
Leuchttürme an der russischen Küste
Photos and notes by Bernd Claußen.
Lighthouses in Russia
Photos available from Wikimedia.
World of Lighthouses - Baltic Sea Russia
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
Leuchttürme der ehemaligen deutschen Ostgebiete
Postcard views of historical German lighthouses in Kaliningrad posted by Klaus Huelse.

Baltiysk Light
Peter I monument and Baltiysk Range Rear Light, Baltiysk, June 2010
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Fastboy

Vistula Spit Lighthouses
Note: The 65 km (40 mi) long Vistula Spit separates the Vistula Lagoon from the Baltic Sea. The base of the spit is in Poland, with the Russian border falling about halfway down its length. The first two lights mark this international border. They appear to be just inside Russia, but they may be maintained jointly by the two nations. In Russian, the Vistula Spit is called the Baltiyskaya Kosa or Baltic Spit, and the Vistula Lagoon is called the Kaliningradskiy Zaliv or Kalinigrad Bay.
Boundary Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 26 m (85 ft); white flash every 5 s, synchronized with the rear light. 19 m (62 ft) rectangular cylindrical skeletal tower, painted black. The seaward side is supposed to carry a slatted daymark painted white with a red vertical stripe, but only a few unpainted slats remain. Trabas has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. This light marks the westernmost point of Russia. Located on dunes at the border. Site and tower closed. Admiralty C3095; NGA 7048.
Boundary Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 44 m (144 ft); white flash every 5 s, synchronized with the front light. 22 m (72 ft) rectangular skeletal tower; the seaward side is supposed to carry a slatted daymark painted black with a white vertical stripe. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on the border, 578 m (0.36 mi) southeast of the front light. Site and tower closed. Admiralty C3095.1; NGA 7052.
* Shchukinskiy {Gross Brukh}
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 50 m (164 ft); white light, 1.5 s on, 2.5 s off. 29 m (92 ft) square skeletal tower. Two sides of the upper 2/3 of the tower are covered by a slatted daymark painted white below and black above. The daymark appears dilapidated in Vladislav Dal'niy's April 2007 photo, but the lighthouse was restored before the photo at right was taken in July 2011. Oleg Rylin has a more distant view, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located in the dunes about 10 km (6 mi) northeast of the border. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS KAL-007; Admiralty C3096; NGA 7056.

Baltiysk Lighthouses
Note: Baltiysk, known as Pillau under German rule, is the principal port of Kaliningrad and an important base on the lower Baltic for the Russian Navy. The city straddles the inlet connecting the Baltic to the Vistula Lagoon, or Kaliningradskiy Zaliv.
* Baltiysk {Pillau} Range Front (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); white light, 9 s on, 3 s off. 21 m (69 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower. The front of the tower carries a trapezoidal slatted daymark, painted white with a black vertical stripe. The light is mounted below the top of the tower. Trabas has Capt. Peter Mosselberger's photo, Claußen has a photo (fourth photo on the page), the lighthouse is at the left of Dmitry Shchukin's photo, and Bing has a satellite view. The original front lighthouse was an 8 m (26 ft) cast iron tower. Located on the east side of the entrance channel, 770 m (0.48 mi) northwest of the rear light and adjacent to the historic Pillau fortress. Site probably open, tower closed. Admiralty C3100; NGA 7060.

Shchukinskiy Light, Vistula Spit, July 2011
Panoramio Creative Commons photo by Nirron
**** Baltiysk Range Rear {Pillau Oberfeuer} (2)
1813 (station established at least by 1741). Active; focal plane 30 m (98 ft); white light, 9 s on, 3 s off. 33 m (105 ft) round brick tower with lantern and double gallery. The upper half of the lighthouse, including the lantern, is painted red and the lower half white. A photo is at the top of this page, Paul Philippov has a similar 2006 photo, Trabas has a great photo by Klaus Kern, Ted Sarah has another photo, another good photo is available, Huelse has a historic postcard view, Lightphotos.net has a historic photo taken about 1935, and Google has a satellite view. Baltiysk, the former German seaport of Pillau, is now the westernmost city in Russia, and a statue of Tsar Peter the Great stands in front of the lighthouse. Lights are said to have been displayed here as early as 1562, and the 1813 lighthouse was built about 20 m (66 ft) high. In 1909 it was raised in height and a new, larger lantern was installed. Huelse has a postcard view showing the original height and lantern. Located in the waterfront area in downtown Baltiysk. Site open, tower open daily; tickets are available at the Museum of the (Russian) Baltic Fleet in the former Pillau Municipal Court Building. ARLHS KAL-002; Admiralty C3100.1; NGA 7064.
Baltiysk Oil Harbour Breakwater West End (Neftyanoy Gavanov-Zapadnyy Range Front)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); white light, 2 s on, 2 s off. 13 m (43 ft) triangular skeletal tower, painted with red and white horizontal bands. Claußen has a photo (first photo on the page), Lighthphotos.net has a more distant view, and Google has a satellite view. The former range was discontinued in 2009. Located at the end of a curving guidewall in Baltiysk harbor. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty C3100.14.
Baltiyskaya Kosa (Baltiyskoy Kosy) Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 61 m (200 ft); white light, 2 s on, 2 s off. 40 m (131 ft) round traffic control tower with multiple galleries, painted with red and white horizontal bands. Alexandr Dorkin has a closeup photo, a 2010 photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. The range guides westbound vessels on the Kaliningrad Sea Canal. Located on the northeastern tip of the Curonian Spit opposite the west end of the canal. Site and tower closed, but the tower is easily seen from nearby. Admiralty C3100.161.
Baltiyskaya Kosa (Baltiyskoy Kosy) Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 26 m (85 ft); white light, 2 s on, 2 s off. Approx. 24 m (79 ft) triangular pyramidal skeletal tower with central cylinder, lantern, and double gallery. Upper half of the lighthouse painted red, lower half white. Sergey Voronkov's photo is at right, another photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. This lighthouse was formerly the rear light of the eastbound Neftyanoy Gavanov-Zapadnyy range. In 2009, that range was discontinued and the lighthouse became the front light of the new Baltiyskaya Kosa range. The photo at right shows the light's former appearance, a 2004 photo is available, Trabas has a photo by Klaus Kern, Claußen has a photo, and there's a photo showing both the former range lights. Located on a concrete pier near the southern entrance to the channel joining the Vistula Lagoon to the Baltic, about 800 m (1/2 mi) southeast of Baltiysk. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty C3100.16.
Neftyanoy Gavanov-Vostochnyy Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 18 m (56 ft); green light, 2 s on, 2 s off. 18 m (56 ft) round cylindrical tower with gallery, painted black. A 2012 photo is available, Claußen has a photo (third photo on the page), Lightphotos.net has an aerial photo of the two range lights, and Google has a satellite view. Located about 300 m (1000 ft) south of the Zapadnyy Range Rear light. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty C3100.175.
Baltiyskaya Kosa Range Front Light
Baltiyskaya Kosa Range Front Light, Baltiysk, April 2011
Panoramio photo copyright Sergey Voronkov; permission requested
Neftyanoy Gavanov-Vostochnyy Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane approx. 30 m (98 ft); green light, 2 s on, 2 s off. 30 m (98 ft) round cylindrical tower with gallery, painted black. A 2012 photo is available, Lightphotos.net has an aerial photo of the two range lights, and Google has a satellite view. Located about 450 m (1500 ft) southeast of the front light. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty C3100.176.

Kaliningrad Sea Canal Lighthouses
Note: Navigation of the shallow Vistula Lagoon is difficult for all but the smallest vessels. In 1901, the Germans completed the Königsberg Ship Canal, a dredged channel some 40 km (25 mi) long across the lagoon, allowing ships of moderate draft to access the city of Königsberg (now Kaliningrad). Dredge spoil islands line much of the channel. For navigators, the course of the canal is seen as a series of "gates" (vorot in Russian). Special thanks to Michel Forand for researching these poorly-known lighthouses.
Vorot No. 5 Pravyy (Gate No. 5 Right) Range Rear (Sevastopol'skiy)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 30 m (98 ft); white light, 2 s on, 2 s off. 28 m (92 ft) triangular pyramidal skeletal tower with central cylinder, lantern, and double gallery. Lighthouse painted with black and white horizontal bands. The lighthouse is seen on the left in Oleg Shevchenko's aerial photo, and Google has a satellite view. This range guides westbound vessels across the longest open-water section of the channel east of Baltiysk. The front light is on a 9 m (30 ft) skeletal tower. Located on a spoil island on the south side of the channel about 12 km (7.5 mi) east of Baltiysk. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty C3103.71.
Pribrezhnyy Yuzhnyy (Eastbound) Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 25 m (82 ft); white light, 2 s on, 2 s off. 24 m (79 ft) triangular pyramidal skeletal tower with central cylinder, lantern, and double gallery. Lighthouse painted black. Alexandr Slepow has a distant view, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. This range guides westbound vessels on a southwestward reach past the town of Svetlyy. The front light is on a 9 m (30 ft) skeletal tower and also serves as the front light for the westbound range (next entry). Located on a spoil island on the south side of the channel about 5 km (3 mi) southwest of Svetlyy. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty C3104.35.
Pribrezhnyy Vostochnyy (Westbound) Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 26 m (85 ft); white light, 2 s on, 2 s off. 24 m (79 ft) triangular pyramidal skeletal tower with central cylinder, lantern, and double gallery. Lighthouse painted with black and white horizontal bands. Trabas has a distant view by Klaus Kern, but Google has an indistinct satellite view. This range guides eastbound vessels on a eastward reach approaching the town of Svetlyy. Located on a spoil island on the south side of the channel about 2 km (1.25 mi) south of Svetlyy. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty C3104.51.
Vorot No. 25 Pravyy (Gate No. 25 Right) Range Rear (Svetlyy II Pritsel'nyy)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 26 m (85 ft); continuous green light. 24 m (79 ft) triangular pyramidal skeletal tower with central cylinder, lantern, and double gallery. Upper 2/3 of the lighthouse painted black, lower third white. The light appears in the rear of a photo, and Google has a good satellite view. This range guides eastbound vessels on a long eastward reach approaching Kaliningrad. Located on a spoil island on the south side of the channel about 10 km (6 mi) west southwest of Kaliningrad's harbor. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty C3106.95.
Pregolya (Vorot No. 30) Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 32 m (108 ft); continuous green light. 29 m (95 ft) triangular pyramidal skeletal tower with central cylinder, lantern, and double gallery. Upper half of the lighthouse painted black, lower half white. Rowan Legg's photo is at right, and Google has a satellite view. This range guides vessels on the first outbound reach leaving Kaliningrad. Located on the south side of the channel about 7 km (4.5 mi) west southwest of Kaliningrad's harbor. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty C3108.3.
Pregoyla Range Rear Light
Pregoyla Range Rear Light, Kaliningrad, June 2006
Livejournal.com photo copyright Rowan Legg; used by permission

Mys Taran and Pionerskiy Area Lighthouses
* Obzornyy
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 54 m (177 ft); white light, 2 s on, 3 s off. 22 m (72 ft) round masonry tower, brick over a stone base, with gallery. The original lantern has been replaced by a short skeletal tower carrying a small modern lantern. The brick tower is painted in orange-red and white horizontal bands; the stone base is unpainted, and the skeletal tower is painted red. Sergey Lyapustin has a good photo, another photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the coast a few kilometers south of Yantarny and about 35 km (22 mi) north of Baltiysk. Site apparently open, tower closed. ARLHS KAL-005; Admiralty C3255; NGA 7114.
* Mys Taran {Brüsterort}
1846. Active; focal plane 54 m (177 ft); white light, occulting three times every 15 s. 29 m (95 ft) octagonal red brick tower with lantern and gallery. Tower is unpainted red brick; lantern and gallery painted yellow with black trim. Fog horn (one short and one long blast every 15 s). 2-story brick crew quarters building. Victor Prylucky's photo is at right, Evgeny Khaev has a photo, another good photo is available, Klaus Huelse has a historic postcard view of the lighthouse, and Google has a satellite view. Mys Taran is a prominent cape about 65 km (40 mi) north of Baltisyk, at the northwestern corner of the Kaliningrad region. Caution: there is another Mys Taran Light on the Sea of Okhotsk. Site status unknown, but the lighthouse can be viewed from nearby. ARLHS KAL-001; Admiralty C3256; NGA 7116.
* Pionerskiy {Neukuhren} Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 29 m (95 ft); red light, 2 s on, 2 s off, visible only on the range line. 20 m (66 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower; the front of the tower carries a slatted daymark painted white with a black vertical stripe. Gennadiy Sushchenko has a closeup photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located southeast of the harbor at Pionerskiy. Site probably open, tower closed. Admiralty C3257.
* Pionerskiy {Neukuhren} Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 40 m (131 ft); red light, 2 s on, 2 s off. 16 m (52 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower; the front of the tower carries a slatted daymark painted white with a black vertical stripe. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located 260 m (850 ft) south of the front light. Site probably open, tower closed. Admiralty C3257.1.
Mys Gvardeyskiy {Rantauer Spitze} (1)
Date unknown (1930s?). Inactive. Approx. 15 m (49 ft) square steel skeletal tower, abandoned and rusting. A photo is available, and its Russian caption is "old lighthouse." This tower was probably built as a watchtower; a second photo has the caption "border tower," and a third is captioned "German lighthouse." A Google satellite view shows the tower is very close to the beach and perhaps vulnerable to erosion. Located on the point of a prominent cape about 8 km (5 mi) east of Pionerskiy.
Mys Taran Light
Mys Taran Light, Svetlogorsk, 2011
photo copyright Victor Prylucky; used by permission
Mys Gvardeyskiy {Rantauer Spitze} (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 50 m (164 ft); white flash every 4 s. 40 m (131 ft) square skeletal tower. The upper half of the tower is surrounded by a huge, drum-shaped daymark with the upper half painted black and the lower half white. A photo is available, and its Russian caption is "new lighthouse." Google has a satellite view. This light is similar to the Lesnoy Light shown below. Located about 500 m (0.3 mi) south southwest of the former lighthouse. Site status unknown. ARLHS KAL-003; Admiralty C3262; NGA 7128.

Curonian Spit Lighthouses
Note: The Curonian Lagoon (Kurshskaya Zaliv in Russian) is a 98 km (61 mi) long barrier spit separating the Curonian Lagoon from the Baltic Sea. The southern half of the spit is in Russian Kaliningrad and the northern half is in Lithuania. Both countries have set aside most of the spit as protected nature reserves; The Russian portion of the spit is protected as the Kurshskaya Kosa National Park.
* Lesnoy {Sarkau, Warnicken} (3?)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 44 m (144 ft); two white flashes every 9 s. 40 m (131 ft) square skeletal tower. The upper half of the tower is surrounded by a huge, drum-shaped daymark painted red with a white horizontal band. Peer-Axel Kroeske's photo is at right, a closer photo is available, Trabas has a photo by Klaus Kern, and Google has a satellite view. A sibling of the second Mys Gvardeyskiy lighthouse. The first light here was a 13 m (43 ft) mast, and a 38 m (125 ft) skeletal tower was listed in the 1960s. Located just off the beach of the Curonian Spit about 10 km (6 mi) northeast of Zelenogorsk. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS KAL-004; Admiralty C3270; NGA 7130.
Rybachiy (Rybatschi) {Rossiten} (2)
Date unknown (station established 1867). Inactive. 24 m (79 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower; at least two sides are covered by a slatted daymark painted red. A distant view is available, but Google has a satellite view. Huelse has a historic postcard view of the 1867 lighthouse, a short cylindrical tower attached to a 1-1/2 story keeper's house; Michel Forand has a second postcard view. The station is located on the Curonian Spit about 30 km (19 mi) northeast of Zelenogradsk and 20 km (13 mi) southwest of the lighthouse at Nida, Lithuania. Site status unknown. ARLHS KAL-006; ex-Admiralty C3278; NGA 7132.

Curonian Lagoon Lighthouse
Note: The Curonian Sound (Kurshkiy Zaliv in Russian) is a large, shallow sound separated from the Baltic by the Curonian Spit. Shaped like a wedge, the lagoon is about 100 km (60 mi) long and 50 km (30 mi) wide at its southern end. The southern 2/3 of the lagoon is in Kaliningrad and the northern third in Lithuania. There are no active lighthouses on the lagoon in Kaliningrad, but there are two in Lithuania.
** Zalivino {Rinderort}
1868. Inactive. 15 m (49 ft) round cylindrical red brick tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-1/2 story keeper's house. Endangered. Andrei Zimovin has a 2009 photo of this historic lighthouse; it shows the tower to be abandoned and the keeper's house is falling into ruins. A 2010 closeup is also available (the Russian caption is "Oldest lighthouse"), Viktor Nekrasov has a closeup of the tower, and Huelse has a historic postcard view, but Google has only a distant satellite view of the location. Located on a point of land on the south shore of the sound about 1.5 km (1 mi) northwest of Zalivino. Site open; the tower has also been open in recent years, but caution is advised. ex-Admiralty C3290.
Golovkino {Nemonien} (2) (?)
Date unknown. Inactive since the 1990s. 8 m (26 ft) octagonal pyramidal skeletal tower with gallery. No current photo available, but Heulse has posted a postcard view. It's not certain that this light survives, but Google's distant satellite view suggests that it does. Located at the end of the mole on the north side of the entrance to Golovkino, on the east side of the lagoon. Site presumably open. Admiralty ex-C3298.
Lesnoy Light
Lesnoy Light, August 2007
Panoramio photo copyright Peer-Axel Kroeske
used by permission

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: Lithuania | West: Poland's Baltic Coast

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Posted May 22, 2005. Checked and revised January 28, 2014. Lighthouses: 25. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.