Lighthouses of Russia: Vladivostok Area

This page covers lighthouses in the southern portion of the Primorsky Krai (Maritime Province) on Russia's far eastern coast, including the major port of Vladivostok and the Khasansky District, which extends in a narrow coastal corridor bordering China to the west and North Korea to the south.

Russian occupation of this area began with the explorations of Vitus Bering and Alexsei Chirikov between 1728 and 1741, but settlements were few until treaties with China brought the Primorsky Krai under Russian control in the 1850s.

A number of historic lighthouses survive from the late 1800s and early 1900s, but the majority of the lighthouses on these coasts were built by the Soviet Union (1917-1991). During the Soviet period, few foreigners were able to visit Russia's Pacific ports, and even today tourism in the Russian far east is slight. As a result, no photos are available for some of the lighthouses. If you have or can locate additional photos, please let me know.

Special thanks to Michel Forand for his extensive research on these lighthouses.

Russian lighthouses are owned 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 and ostrov is an island.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volume M of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 112.


Bryusa Light, Slavyanka, January 2007
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by V. Kotelnikov

General Sources
Lighthouses of Khasan District
My translation of a document posted by the Khasansky District government, with three photos.
Lighthouses of Vladivostok and Primorye
This Russian-language site has photos and information on the major lighthouses in the area.
Lighthouses in the Russian Far East
Photos available from Wikimedia.
World of Lighthouses - Russia Far East
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
Russische Leuchttürme auf historischen Postkarten
Postcard views of historic Russian lighthouses posted by Klaus Huelse.
Fokino District Lighthouses
Note: Fokino is a "closed town" under direct federal jurisdiction because it includes sensitive base facilities for the Russian Pacific Fleet. At the southern end of the town is Mys Sysoyeva, a prominent cape about 50 km (30 mi) southeast of Vladivostok and a similar distance west of Nakhodka. Ostrov Askol'd is an island about 12 km (7.5 mi) south of the cape. This is a dangerous area for ships approaching either Vladivostok or Nakhodka. Strelok Bay is east of Mys Sysoyeva and is sheltered by a large island, Ostrov Putyatina. Although the mainland part of Fokino is closed, the islands of Askol'd and Putyatina are open. Askol'd is uninhabited and rarely visited, but ecotours to Putyatina are available from Vladivostok.
Zaliv Strelok East Passage Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 44 m (144 ft); yellow light, 1 s on, 1 s off. 14 m (46 ft) octagonal concrete tower, painted white with a red vertical stripe. A photo, a closeup, and a distant view are available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a promontory at the east entrance to Abrek Bay, the harbor of Fokino. Site presumably closed. Admiralty M7529.5.
Zaliv Strelok Range Common Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 116 m (381 ft); continuous light, red for the Western Approach Range and yellow for the East Passage Range. 16 m (52 ft) octagonal concrete tower, painted white with black vertical stripes. A distant photo and a second view are available, and Google has a satellite view. This tower carries the rear light of the Zaliv Strelok Western Approach and East Passage Ranges. Located atop a steep bluff at the northern head of Abrek Bay. Site presumably closed. Admiralty M7529.31.
Zaliv Strelok Western Approach Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 61 m (200 ft); red light, 1.5 s on, 1.5 s off. 10 m (33 ft) square concrete tower, painted white with a black vertical stripe. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. This range guides ships around the west side of Ostrov Putyatina. Located on the west side of Abrek Bay about 5 km (3 mi) south of Fokino. Site presumably closed. Admiralty M7529.3.
Mys Abrek
Date unknown. Inactive, probably since around 1980. No photo available; Google's satellite view shows what appears to be a concrete tower, although a 1973 light list describes the light as a 5 m (17 ft) skeletal tower providing a focal plane height of 15 m (49 ft). Located on the tip of a sharp promontory at the western entrance to Abrek Bay. Site status unknown. ex-Admiralty F7546 (lights of the Russian Pacific have since been moved from volume F to volume M).
Yelagina (Mys Yelagina, Ostrov Askold) (3)
Date unknown (station established 1881). Active; focal plane 113 m (371 ft); white light, 1.5 s on, 4.5 s off. 8 m (26 ft) octagonal cylindrical masonry tower with lantern and gallery, attached to the seaward side of a ramshackle masonry keeper's house. 5th order (?) Fresnel lens. Tower painted white, lantern red. A closeup photo is available, but Google has only a fuzzy satellite view of the location. The first two lighthouses had substantially higher focal planes. This lighthouse appears to be in very poor condition. Located on the south point of Ostrov Askol'd. Site status unknown. ARLHS ASR-075; Admiralty M7532; NGA 16052.
Yelagina (Mys Yelagina, Ostrov Askold) (2?)
Date unknown (station established 1881). Inactive and in ruins. Approx. 8 m (26 ft) octagonal cylindrical stone tower. Ivan Vladimirovich has a view from the sea, and the old lighthouse can be seen at the lower right in a photo of the present lighthouse. Site status unknown; the path to the lighthouse appears to be perilous.
Mys Stupenchatyy
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 27 m (89 ft); white flash every 8 s. 5 m (17 ft) square concrete tower, painted white. A photo and a distant view are available, but Google has only a fuzzy satellite view of the cape. Located on the northern tip of Ostrov Askol'd. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS ASR-110; Admiralty M7503; NGA 16053.
Sysoyev (Mys Sysoyeva)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; white light, 1.5 s on, 1.5 s off. 8 m (26 ft) octagonal cylindrical tower with lantern and gallery, painted red. A photo is at right, Lightphotos.net has a photo of the station by Vladimir Serebryanskiy, a distant view and a panoramic view (third photo on the page) are available, D. Robertovitch has a 2013 view from the sea, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the point of the cape, south of Dunay. Site and tower closed (restricted military area). ARLHS ASR-111; Admiralty M7528; NGA 16056.
Mys Sysoyev Light
Mys Sysoyeva Light, Dunay
photo by Novosti Vladivostok

Shkotovsky District (Bolshoy Kamen' Area) Lighthouses
Note: Ussuri Bay is the broad sound east of Vladivostok; the northern portion of the gulf is also called Shamora Bay or Lazunura Bay. Bolshoy Kamen' is a port on the east side of Shamora Bay. The city has a large naval base and, like Fokino, is closed to foreign visitors.
Bolshoy Kamen' Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; red flash every 3 s. 14 m (46 ft) square concrete tower, painted white with a black vertical stripe. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. This is the entrance range for the main harbor of Bolshoy Kamen'. Located on a hillside surrounded by apartment blocks and two taller buildings, about 1500 m (1 mi) southeast of the harbor. Site and tower closed. Admiralty M7490.
Bolshoy Kamen' Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 107 m (351 ft); continuous red light. 13 m (43 ft) square concrete tower, painted white with a black vertical stripe. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located about 1.8 km (1.1 mi) southeast of the front light. Site and tower closed. Admiralty M7490.1.
Mys Maximova
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 37 m (121 ft); white light, 3 s on, 3 s off. 8 m (26 ft) square concrete tower, painted white with one red horizontal band. A closeup photo is available, the light is barely visible in Ivan Razpidalin's distant view of the cape, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a cape about 1 km (0.6 mi) north of the harbor of Bolshoy Kamen'. Site and tower closed. Admiralty M7489.
Mys Krasnyy
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 30 m (98 ft); one long white flash every 7.5 s. 6 m (20 ft) octagonal concrete tower, painted white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on a cape at Sukhodol, about 5 km (3 mi) north of Bolshoy Kamen'. Site and tower closed. Admiralty M7488.

Vladivostok City Lighthouses
Note: Vladivostok (the name means "Ruler of the East") was founded in 1860, soon after China ceded the territory of the Maritime Province to Russia. In 1916 the Trans-Siberian Railroad was completed, linking Vladivostok to Moscow. The city is built at the end of the Muravyov-Amursky Peninsula, which together with Ostrov Russkiy and associated islands divides the Amur Bay on the west from the Ussuri Bay on the east. Vladivostok is the traditional home port of Russia's Pacific Fleet, and during the Soviet era it was generally closed to foreigners. It is open today, although some areas are restricted. Early settlers thought the city's harbor was like that of the Golden Horn harbor of İstanbul (Constantinople), so they named it Zolotoy Rog (Golden Horn) Bay. The strait separating the city from Russkiy Island is called the Bosfor Vostochny (Eastern Bosporus) Strait.
Basargin (2)
1958 (station established 1934). Active; focal plane 28 m (92 ft); green light occulting once every 7.5 s. 8 m (26 ft) octagonal stone tower with gallery and a small lantern, painted with red and white horizontal bands. Perched on a huge rock just offshore, the lighthouse is connected to the mainland by a swinging footbridge. Sergei Shaderkin has a fine photo, Jura Semejkin has a good photo, Dmitry Sidorenko has a view from the sea, the light was featured on a 1984 Soviet postage stamp, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. This lighthouse replaced a wood tower. It is named for Vladimir Basargin, the naval officer who carried out the first hydrographic survey of the area in 1861. Located on a rock on the north side of the eastern entrance to the Bosfor Vostochny Strait, about 10 km (6 mi) east southeast of the Tokarev lighthouse. Site and tower closed. ARLHS ASR-015; Admiralty M7471; NGA 16167.
* Shkotovskiy (Proliv Bosfor Vostochnyy) Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 32 m (105 ft); continuous red light. 15 m (49 ft) square tower with an octagonal lantern room, rising from a square keeper's house. Lighthouse painted white. Maxim Pismak's photo is at right, a closeup and a more distant view are available, a page for the range has photos, and Google has a satellite view. This range guides ships through the Bosfor Vostochnyy Strait on the approach to Vladivostok from the east. The range is named for Capt. Nikolai Shkota, who commanded the Russian naval base in Vladivostok in 1864-66. Located about 1.5 km (1 mi) northeast of the Tokarev lighthouse. Site appears open, tower closed. ARLHS ASR-156; Admiralty M7472; NGA 16169.
* Shkotovskiy (Proliv Bosfor Vostochnyy) Range Middle
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 50 m (164 ft); red light occulting once every 3 s. 15 m (49 ft) octagonal stone tower, painted white with a black vertical stripe on the range line. The lighthouse is seen at the right in a photo of the front light, a good photo from the back is available, a page for the range has photos, and Google has a satellite view. Located 125 m (410 ft) west northwest of the front light. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS ASR-157; Admiralty M7472.01; NGA 16169.1.

Bosfor Vostochnyy Range Front Light, Vladivostok, January 2010
photo copyright Maxim Pismak; used by permission
* Shkotovskiy (Proliv Bosfor Vostochnyy) Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 69 m (226 ft); continuous red light. 15 m (49 ft) octagonal tower, painted white with a black vertical stripe on the range line. A 2011 photo also shows the Russkiy Island Bridge then under construction across the strait. A page for the range has photos, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a ridge crest 400 m (1/4 mi) west northwest of the middle light. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS ASR-158; Admiralty M7472.02; NGA 16169.2.
* Tokarev (Egersheld) (2)
1910 (station established 1876). Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); one long flash every 7.5 s, white or red depending on direction. 12 m (39 ft) cylindrical stone tower with lantern and gallery; the lower half of the tower is octagonal and the upper half is round. Lighthouse painted white. Jonathan Worthington's photo is at right, Alexander Smerdov has another good closeup, Lisa Walker has a 2007 closeup, Huelse has a historic postcard photo, and Google has a satellite view. FocalPoint f/8 has a long article on keeper Vasily Ivanovich Ilchenko. Despite its modest size, this is one of Russia's best known lighthouses. It is named for Capt. M.J. Tokarev, whose ship surveyed the area in 1862-63. In recent years the tower has been dwarfed by a huge modern tower that carries power lines across the Vladivostok harbor entrance. Located at the end of a mole at the entrance to Vladivostok harbor and at the extreme southwestern tip of the Egersheld Peninsula. Accessible in good weather by a hike of about 3 km (2 mi) from the end of the city's bus line. However, the access to the lighthouse is underwater at high tide. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS ASR-008; Admiralty M7479; NGA 16169.92.
Mys Rosseta (1)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 66 m (217 ft); green light occulting once every 15 s. The light was originally mounted at the gable end of a 1-story masonry building, but it has been moved to a short skeletal mast in front of the building. A closeup photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. The cape is named for Lt. Sergei Rosset, who was known for his surveys on the Amur estuary and elsewhere in the Russian Far East during the 1880s. Located on a steep promontory on the west side of the Egersheld Peninsula, at the south end of the Amur Bay side of Vladivostok harbor. Site status unknown. Admiralty M7478; NGA 16169.91.
Gavan' Likhternaya Vtoroy Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); continuous yellow light. 8 m (26 ft) square concrete tower, painted white with a black vertical stripe. No photo available. The range guides vessels into the Likhternaya harbor on the west (Amur Bay) side of Vladivostok. Located on an embankment behind the harbor. Site status unknown. Admiralty M7450.
Gavan' Likhternaya Vtoroy Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 37 m (121 ft); yellow light, 3 s on, 3 s off. Lantern mounted atop a 5-story apartment building. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located 105 m (345 ft) east of the front light. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M7450.01.
Tokarev Light
Tokarev Light, Vladivostok, autumn 2008
Creative Commons photo by Jonathan Worthington

Ostrov Russkiy Area Lighthouses
Note: Russkiy (or Russky) is a large island on the south side of the Bosfor Vostochny Strait. Novik Bay is a fjord that nearly cuts the island in two. A short canal connects the strait and the lower end of Novik Bay. In 2007, plans were announced to develop the island as a tourist destination, and in 2008 the government ordered the building of the Russkiy Island Bridge to connect the island to the mainland. The bridge opened in July 2012.
Skrypleva (2)
1899 (station established 1876). Active; focal plane 54 m (177 ft); red flash every 15 s. 12 m (39 ft) octagonal cylindrical stone tower with lantern and gallery, attached to the south side of a 1-story keeper's house. Lighthouse painted white; lantern roof is gray. A photo is at right, another page for the lighthouse is available, Lightphotos.net has a view from the sea, and Google has a satellite view. Ruins of an earlier lighthouse are reported to be found on the island. This light and the Basargin lighthouse (see above) frame the eastern entrance to the Bosfor Vostochny Strait. The present lighthouse replaced a short stone tower; it was largely rebuilt after World War II. The lighthouse is named for Rear Adm. Constantine Skrypleva, a high commander in the Russian fleet in the 1870s. Located on Ostrov Skrypleva, a small island on the south side of the entrance to the strait, about 10 km (6 mi) east southeast of the Tokarev lighthouse. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. ARLHS ASR-006; Admiralty M7470; NGA 16166.
Ostrov Verkhovsky (Verkovskogo)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 38 m(125 ft); three white flashes every 10 s. 7 m (23 ft) octagonal concrete tower, painted white. A photo and a distant view are available, but the island is barely visible in Bing's satellite view. Located on an islet about 5 km (3 mi) south of Ostrov Shkota, a smaller island off the southern tip of Russkiy. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. ARLHS ASR-116; Admiralty M7498; NGA 16160.
Ostrov Shkota
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 55 m (180 ft); green flash every 3 s. 5 m (17 ft) octagonal concrete tower, painted white. A photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Shkota, a smaller island off the southern tip of Ostrov Russkiy, is connected to Russkiy by a bridge. Located atop a vertical cliff at the southern tip of Ostrov Shkota. Site status unknown. Admiralty M7434.3.
Proliv Starka
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); red flash every 5 s. 6 m (20 ft) octagonal concrete tower, painted white. A closeup and a second photo are available, also a view from the sea, and Google has a distant satellite view of the site. Proliv Starka (Starka Strait) is the narrow passage separating Russkiy from the neighboring Ostrov Popova, to the southwest. Located on a promontory on the north side of the strait, marking the narrowest point of the passage. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M7435.3.
Skrypleva Light
Skrypleva Light, Ostrov Russkiy, July 2006
Panoramio photo copyright mbbvlad; used by permission
Mys Vasil'yeva
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 43 m (141 ft); whte flash every 3 s. 5 m (17 ft) octagonal tower, painted white. No photo available, but Google has a distant satellite view. Located on a promontory near the southwestern tip of Russkiy. Site status unknown. Admiralty M7435.5; NGA 16170.3.
Mys Yermolayeva
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 7 m (23 ft); two red flashes every 6 s. 7 m (23 ft) concrete tower mounted on a square concrete pier. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on a reef off the cape, on the north side of Novik Bay about 800 m (1/2 mi) south of the entrance to a canal that provides a shortcut between Novik bay and the Bosfor Vostochny Strait. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Admiralty M7441.

Nadezhdinsky District Lighthouse
[Ostrov Rechnoy]
Date unknown. Inactive. Ruins of a former brick lighthouse, for which a photo but no information is available. Google has a satellite view of the ruins. Located at the southwestern tip of an island at the head of the Amur Bay, about 20 km (13 mi) northwest of Vladivostok.

Khasan District Lighthouses
Sidiminskiy (Ostrov Krolichiy, Bezverkhovo)
1935. Active; focal plane 34 m (108 ft); red light, 3 s on, 3 s off. 9 m (30 ft) square tower with gallery, painted white. The Khasan District's photo is at right, a good closeup is available, a distant view shows the light and Vladivostok across the bay, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. According to the Khasan District's history, a daymark had been established here earlier, and the lighthouse was "repaired" in the 1950s. Bezverkhovo is a port at the western entrance to the Amur Bay, leading to Vladivostok. Located on the southeastern side of an island about 2 km (1.25 mi) southeast of Bezverkhovo. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty M7434.2.
* Bryusa (Cape Bruce, Mys Byusse)
1913. Active; focal plane 66 m (217 ft); white, red or green light depending on direction, 6 s on, 6 s off. 10 m (33 ft) square stone tower, attached to the seaward side of a 1-story keeper's house, painted white. V. Kotelnikov's photo is at the top of this page, a 2009 photo of the station also shows a reserve light on the hillside behind the lighthouse, the Khasan District's lighthouse history page also has a photo, Taras Gruzhevskiy has a view from the sea, Lightphotos.net has a photo of the station by Vladimair Serebryanskiy, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. The cape was named for the British admiral Sir Henry William Bruce by a British fleet searching the area for Russian ships in 1855, during the Crimean War. Located on a headland about 10 km (6 mi) east of Slavyanka and 50 km (30 mi) southwest of Vladivostok. Site status unknown. ARLHS ASR-018; Admiralty M7434; NGA 16172.


Sidiminskiy Light, Bezverkhovo
Khasan district government photo

* Mys Klerka
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 75 m (246 ft); red flash every 4 s. 7 m (23 ft) post mounted atop an octagonal concrete tower. Tower painted white. A photo is available, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on a cape about 16 km (10 mi) south of Slavyanka. The area is accessible by road. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty M7430; NGA 16188.
** Gamova (Cape Gamow, Mys Gamova)
1906 (F.F. Postnikov). Active; focal plane 68 m (223 ft); two white flashes every 15 s. 20 m (62 ft) round stone tower with dwelling, painted white. A 4th order (?) clamshell Fresnel lens is in use. Several staffed keeper's houses and other buildings. Oleg Podlenko's photo is at right, Eugene Popelnitskiy has a closeup, another closeup is available, Lightphotos.net has Vladimir Serebryanskiy's photo, Evgeny Kharitonov has a photo of the entire station, and Google has a satellite view of the station. Construction of the lighthouse began in 1898. The cape is named for Dmitry Gamow, a young naval officer who surveyed the area in 1852-54. Located on a prominent cape about 80 km (50 mi) southwest of Vladivostok and 50 km (30 mi) northeast of the Korean border. Site open, tower open by arrangement with the staff (one source says the charge is 20 rubles). ARLHS ASR-026; Admiralty M7422; NGA 16196.
Mys Slychkova
2000. Active; focal plane 41 m (135 ft); one long red flash every 6 s. 5 m (17 ft) octagonal concrete tower, painted white. A view from the sea is available, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on the tip of a sharp promontory sheltering the bay of Zarubino. Site status unknown. Admiralty M7421.6.
Mys Degera
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 73 m (240 ft); green flash every 4 s. 5 m (17 ft) octagonal concrete tower, painted white with a red horizontal band. The red band is barely visible in a photo; Google has a very distant satellite view. Located on a promontory marking the approach to Posyet Bay. Site status unknown. Admiralty M7421.5.
Bukhta Postovaya Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 21 m (69 ft); red flash every 3 s. 12 m (39 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower, painted white with a black vertical stripe. No photo available. Located on the north side of Posyet Bay opposite the Nazimova lighthouse. Site status unknown. Admiralty M7421.4.
Bukhta Postovaya Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; continuous red light. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower, painted white with a black vertical stripe. A photo most likely shows this light, although it may show the front light instead. Located 200 m (220 yd) behind the front light. Site status unknown. Admiralty M7421.41.
Gamova Light
Gamova Light, 2007
Panoramio photo copyright Oleg Podlenko; permission requested
Nazimova (2)
1910 (station established 1896). Active; focal plane 19 m (62 ft); white or red light, depending on direction, 1.5 s on, 1.5 s off. Approx. 7 m (23 ft) round cast iron tower with lantern, painted white. Keeper's house and other buildings. A closeup photo and a second photo are available, there is also a distant view of this light in the first photo of the Khasan District's page on the history of the district's lighthouses, and Google has a satellite view. According to the District's history, the lighthouse is a prefabricated French tourelle, and it was restored in 1956. Located on a rock at the end of the Nazimov Spit, which nearly closes off the entrance to Posyet (Pos'eta) Bay north of Khasan and about 50 km (30 mi) northeast of the Korean border. Site open, tower reported open by arrangement with the keepers. ARLHS ASR-153; Admiralty M7421.
Maritime Border Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 39 m (128 ft); white, red or green light, depending on direction, occulting once every 4 s. 38 m (125 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower. The front of the tower carries a slatted daymark painted red with a white vertical stripe. No photo available, but Bing has a good satellite view. This range defines the border between Russia and North Korea at sea. The rear light is in North Korea. Located beside the Tumen River, which is the North Korean border. Site and tower closed. Admiralty M7420; NGA 16198.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: Eastern Primorsky Krai | South: Eastern North Korea

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Posted May 19, 2006. Checked and revised January 27, 2014. Lighthouses: 36. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.