Lighthouses of Russia: Pechenga Area

The northwestern corner of Russia lies on the Barents Sea, an arm of the Arctic Ocean. In Murmansk Oblast (province), the broad, eastward-pointing Kola Peninsula (Kolskiy Poluostrov) separates the Barents Sea from the nearly-enclosed White Sea, which extends southward more than 500 km (300 mi). This page includes lighthouses of the northwestern corner of Murmansk Oblast, including the Pachenga, Zaozyorsk, and Vidyayevo districts; this area adjoins the Norwegian border northwest of Murmansk city.

It may come as a surprise to lighthouse fans to learn that there are many lighthouses along these Arctic waterways, including more than a few nineteenth century towers built under the tsars. These lighthouses are surely among the most poorly known in the world. Under the Soviets, almost none of them were accessible to Westerners, and even today many areas in the Russian North are restricted. But cruise ships are beginning to visit these waters, so conditions for visiting the lighthouses may be improving.

Special thanks to Michel Forand for his extensive research on the lighthouses of this area. However, we still need photos of many sites. If you have any photos of lighthouses in this area, or spot any such photos on the Internet, please let me know.

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 (мыс) is a cape and ostrov (остров) is an island.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volume L of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. Russian light list (RU) numbers are from Russian Navy Publication 2103, as reported by the Admiralty. U.S. NGA numbers are from Publication 115.

General Sources
Lighthouse photos
This Ukrainian site is a rich source of photos for Russian and Ukrainian lighthouses.
Online List of Lights - Russia - Arctic Sea Coast
Coming soon: photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
Lighthouses in Murmansk Oblast
Photos by various photographers available from Wikimedia.
World of Lighthouses - Arctic Coast of Russia
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
Russische Leuchttürme auf historischen Postkarten
Historic postcard images posted by Klaus Huelse.

Tsyp-Navolokskiy Light, Rybachiy Peninsula, July 2008
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Sergey Gruzdev

Pechengskiy District Lighthouses

Note: The Pechengskiy District, adjoining the Norwegian and Finnish borders, is named for the seaport of Pechenga, also called by its Finnish name Petsamo. After the collapse of the Russian Empire, the Petsamo area was assigned to newly-independent Finland in 1920. Occupied by Soviet troops in 1944, it was ceded to the Soviet Union under the 1946 Soviet-Finnish peace treaty. Former Finnish names are shown in brackets {}.
Pechenga Bay and Varangerfjord Lighthouses
Mys Vor'ema
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); white flash every 3 s. 4 m (13 ft) octagonal lantern, mounted on a concrete or stone base. Lantern painted white. Lightphotos.net has a photo, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on a promontory on the south side of the Varangerfjord, about 400 m (1/4 mi) west of the Norwegian border. Site status unknown. Admiralty L6002.
Mys Paltusovo Pero
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 25 m (82 ft); white flash every 5 s. 6 m (20 ft) tripod mounted atop a square 1-story concrete equipment shelter. Tripod painted yellow, equipment shelter white. A photo is available, and Bing has an indistinct satellite view. Located on the west side of the entrance to Pechenga Bay, the estuary of the Pechenga River, from the Varangerfjord. Site status unknown. RU-0018; Admiralty L6006.
Lodeynyy
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 9 m (30 ft); green flash every 5 s. 4 m (13 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower with a slatted daymark painted white with a black vertical stripe. Lightphotos.net has a photo by Oleg Stepanov, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on a prominent cape on the west side of Pechenga Bay at Liinakhamari. Site status unknown. Admiralty L6013.
Pechengskiye Mys Krestovyy
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 8 m (26 ft); white flash every 3 s. 6 m (20 ft) lantern mounted on a square concrete base. Entire lighthouse is white. Lightphotos.net has a photo by Oleg Stepanov, a view from across the bay is available, and Google has a satellite view. Typically Scandinavian in design, this light was probably installed under the Finnish administration. There is another Mys Krestovyy (Cape Cross) Light on the Kola Peninsula. Located on a headland at a sharp bend of Pechenga Bay about 10 km (6 mi) south of the entrance. Site status unknown. RU-0030; Admiralty L6014.
Pechenga {Petsamo} Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); continuous red light. 13 m (43 ft) square skeletal tower. No photo available, but the shadow of the tower is clear in a Google satellite view. This is the entrance range for Pechenga Bay. Located on the east side of the bay about 8 km (5 mi) south of the entrance. Site status unknown. RU-0025; Admiralty L6011; NGA 14856.
Pechenga {Petsamo} Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 33 m (108 ft); continuous red light. 14 m (46 ft) square skeletal tower. No photo available, but the shadow of the tower is clear in a Bing satellite view. Located on the east side of the bay about 800 m (1/2 mi) south of the front light. Site status unknown. RU-0026; Admiralty L6011.1; NGA 14860.
Pechengskiye (Mys Romanov) {Numeroniemi} (2)
Date unknown (station established 1912). Active; focal plane 35 m (115 ft); two long flashes every 15 s, white or red depending on direction. 4 m (13 ft) octagonal lantern with a large flat roof. Lantern painted red. A photo is at right, a closeup is available, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. There's also a photo of the previous light, a small lantern; the caption reads "postwar lighthouse." Lightphotos.net has a closeup of the old light. Located on a cape, the end of the Liinakhamari Peninsula, on the east side of the entrance to Pechenga Bay. Site status unknown. ARLHS ERU-111; RU-0020; Admiralty L6010; NGA 14852.
Ostrov Bol'shoy Aynov {Iso Heinäsaari} (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 29 m (95 ft); white flash every 4.5 s. 9 m (30 ft) square masonry or concrete tower, unpainted. A small red lantern is mounted on the roof of the building. A closeup and a distant photo are available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the west side of an island in the Varangerfjord about 6 km (3.5 mi) off the Russian shore. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. RU-0055; Admiralty L6028; NGA 14876.
Pechengskiye Light
Pechengskiye (Mys Romanov) Light, Pechenga Bay, July 2008
photo copyright Denn68; used by permission
Ostrov Malyy Aynov {Pieni Heinäsaari}
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 30 m (98 ft); green flash every 5 s. 6 m (20 ft) square pyramidal tower, lower portion enclosed and upper portion partially enclosed by a slatted daymark. Entire lighthouse painted yellow. A closeup photo is available, and Google has a distant satellite view. Located near the south point of the island, about 2.5 km (1.5 mi) southeast of Bol'shoy Aynov. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. RU-0050; Admiralty L6029; NGA 14872.

Rybachiy Peninsula Lighthouses
Note: The Rybachiy (Fisher) Peninsula is really a large island, roughly 65 km (40 mi) by 25 km (15 mi), connected to the mainland by a narrow (2 km wide) isthmus. The eastern 2/3 of the island is separated from the mainland by Motovskiy Bay.
Ostrov Bol'shoy Kiy
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; red flash every 3 s. No description available, and Google has only a blurry satellite view; an older satellite view revealed a quadrupod tower, probably wood and at least 8 m (26 ft) in height. Located on the southwest side of Bol'shoy Kiy, a round island about 3.5 km (2 mi) south of Mys Kiy on the west side of the Rybachiy Peninsula. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty L6040; NGA 14885.
Mys Kiyskiy
Date unknown. Inactive; listed with focal plane 17 m (56 ft); white flash every 3 s. 12 m (39 ft) square pyramidal skeletal wood tower, mostly enclosed with a slatted daymark that is supposed to be painted with black and white horizontal bands. The 2013 photo at right shows that the lighthouse is abandoned and falling into ruins. The same photographer has a more distant view, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located on a promontory on the west side of the Rybachiy Peninsula, about 13 km (8 mi) southwest of Vaidaguba. Site status unknown. ARLHS ERU-099; RU-0070; Admiralty L6044.
Vaidagubskiy (Mys Nemetskiy) {Majakkaniemi, Vaitolahti} (3?)
Date unknown (1950s?). Inactive. Approx. 8 m (26 ft) hexagonal turret mounted on a 2-story red brick building, now falling into ruins. A photo and a second photo are available, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. This light station marks the beginning of the approach to Pechenga (Petsamo); it also stands at the eastern entrance to Norway's Varangerfjord. The original lighthouse was a small keeper's cottage with a lantern at one end. Probably destroyed during World War II, it was replaced with a 7.5 m (25 ft) "white pyramidal structure with red band," according to a 1950 light list. Located at the western end of the Rybachiy Peninsula. Site status unknown.

Mys Kiyskiy Light, Rybachiy Peninsula, August 2013
Creative Commons photo by SerBor
Vaidagubskiy (Mys Nemetskiy) {Majakkaniemi, Vaitolahti} (4?)
1966 (?) (station established 1896). Active; focal plane 62 m (203 ft); three green flashes every 11 s. 29 m (95 ft) round tower with lantern and gallery, painted bright red. Fog horn (Morse code "U": two shorts and one long, every 30 s). Sergey Gruzdev's photo is at right, a photo of both the old and new lighthouses is available, Lightphotos.net has a photo by Dmitry Begizov, another photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. ARLHS ERU-071; RU-0080; Admiralty L6046; NGA 14892.
Mys Lazar' (2?)
Date unknown. Inactive. 19 m (62 ft) square skeletal tower. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on a sharp promontory on the north side of the Rybachiy Peninsula, about 16 km (10 mi) west of Tsypnavolok. Site status unknown.
Mys Lausch
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); flash every 3 s, white, red or green depending on direction (?). 7 m (23 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower enclosed by a slatted daymark painted with red and white horizontal bands. A closeup photo is available, Nikolai Malykh has a 2015 photo, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on a promontory about 3 km (2 mi) northwest of Tsypnavolok. Site status unknown. RU-0095; Admiralty L6081.
Tsyp-Navolokskiy (Tsypnavolok, Mys Voronkovskiy) (5?)
1979 (?) (station established 1899). Active; focal plane 54 m (177 ft); two white flashes followed by two red flashes, every 16 s. 32 m (105 ft) round tower with lantern and gallery, painted with red and white horizontal bands; lantern is red. Fog horn (five blasts every 60 s). Sergey Gruzdev's 2008 photo is at the top of this page, Lightphotos.net has several photos, Wikipedia's Tsypnavolok page has a photo taken from the lighthouse, another photo, an older photo and a panoramic view are also available, and Bing has a satellite view. This lighthouse marks the beginning of the approach to Murmansk. Older light lists describe a series of three or four skeletal towers preceding the modern lighthouse. Located at the eastern end of the Rybachiy Peninsula. Site status unknown. ARLHS ERU-025; RU-0100; Admiralty L6082; NGA 14904.
Tsyp-Navolok Bay (Tsyp-Navolokskiy Southeast)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 22 m (72 ft); two white flashes every 5.1 s. 8 m (26 ft) square pyramidal tower, painted with red and white horizontal bands. Lightphotos.net has a photo by Sergey Shevkoplya, and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the tip of a narrow peninsula projecting southeast from Tsyp-Navolok. Site status unknown. Admiralty L6088; NGA 14905.

Vaidagubskiy Light, Rybachiy Peninsula, 2008
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Sergey Gruzdev
Mys Malyy Korabel'nyy (Ribachiy Mys Gorodetskiy, Gorodetzki Point)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 40 m (131 ft); white flash every 4 s. 12 m (39 ft) square pyramidal tower, painted black with a white vertical stripe. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located at the southeastern tip of the Rybachiy Peninsula, marking the entrance to the Motovskiy Bay. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. RU-0120; Admiralty L6094; NGA 14916.
Mys Eyna
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); green flash every 2.5 s. 6 m (20 ft) square pyramidal tower, painted black with a white horizontal band. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. NGA misspells the name as Zyna. Located on a promontory on the south side of the Rybachiy Peninsula. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. RU-0125; Admiralty L6093; NGA 14920.
Mys Motka
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); red flash every 6 s. 6 m (20 ft) square pyramidal tower, painted white with a red diagonal stripe. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on a headland on the south side of the Rybachiy Peninsula, marking the entrance to Motka Bay from Motovskiy Bay. Site status unknown. Admiralty L6096; NGA 14924.
Mys Priglubyy
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft). 4 m (13 ft) square tower, painted with red and white horizontal bands, mounted on a large square platform. Sergey Voznyak has a photo, and Google has a distant satellite view. Located in the center of a very narrow passage in Motka Bay. Accessible only by boat, but easy to see from shore. Site open, tower closed. RU-0150; Admiralty L6098.

Zaozyorsk and Ura Bay Lighthouses

Note: These lights are on the south side of Motovskiy Bay, which is sheltered by the Rybachiy Peninsula. This area has long been the location of several important military and naval bases. In particular, both Zaozyorsk and Vidyayevo on Ura Bay are bases for Russian submarines.
Zaozyorsk Municipal District Lighthouses
Mys Pikshuyev
Date unknown (station established 1931). Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); two white flashes every 6 s. 6 m (20 ft) square equipment building with the light mounted on a short post on the roof. This light is part of a historic meteorological station. Listed as red, but a 2009 photo shows that the building has been covered with tan siding. The light can be seen in a view of the station, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a prominent cape about 5 km (3 mi) north of Zaozyorsk. Site status unknown. ARLHS ERU-112; Admiralty L6130; RU-0185; NGA 14948.
Ostrov Kuvshin-Zapadnyy
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 38 m (125 ft); green flash every 5 s. 7 m (23 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower, enclosed by a slatted daymark painted black with a white horizontal band. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on an island in the entrance to the bay of Zaozyorsk. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS ERU-101; RU-0190; Admiralty L6136.

Vidyayevo Municipal District (Ura Bay Area) Lighthouses
Ostrov Bol'shoy Arskiy
Date unknown. Inactive. 7 m (23 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower, partially enclosed with a slatted daymark painted black with a white diagonal stripe. No photo available, but Google has an indistinct satellite view. The light was active in the 1950s but it has been inactive at least since 2000. Located at the northeast end of the island of Bol'shoy Arskiy, about 8 km (5 mi) west of the Ura Bay entrance. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown.
Malyy Lukovyy
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 27 m (89 ft); red flash every 4 s. 12 m (39 ft) round cylindrical tower colored red with a white horizontal band. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. This light probably replaced the Bol'shoy Arskiy light. Located on a promontory about 2 km (1.2 mi) east of Bol'shoy Arskiy and 6 km (4 mi) west of the Ura Bay entrance. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty L6160.
Mys Vyev-Navolok (Vyevnavolok) (2?)
Date unknown (station established by 1950). Active; focal plane 44 m (144 ft); flash every 6 s, white or red depending on direction. 15 m (49 ft) square cylindrical concrete tower painted yellow. Sergei Bozhenko's photo is at right, Lightphotos.net has a closeup photo, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. The lighthouse stands at the west side of the entrance to Ura Bay and Port Vladimir. Site status unknown. ARLHS ERU-026; Admiralty L6172; RU-0210; NGA 14968.
Ostrov Yeretik (Eretik) Vostochnyy
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 34 m (112 ft); green flash every 3 s. 6 m (20 ft) octagonal cylindrical concrete tower, painted red. Lightphotos.net has a photo, Sergei Bozhenko has a photo, and Bing has a distant satellite view. This light and the next one frame the narrow eastern entrance to Port Vladimir. Located at the eastern point of an island about 4 km (2.5 mi) east of Port Vladimir. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty L6175; RU-0225.
Ostrova Shurinovy (Shurinovskiy)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 26 m (85 ft); flash every 5 s, white, red or green depending on direction. 7 m (23 ft) octagonal cylindrical concrete tower, painted with black and white horizontal bands. No photo available, and Google has only a very indistinct satellite view. Located on a small island about 500 m (0.4 mi) east of the previous light. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS ERU-122; Admiralty L6208; RU-0235; NGA 14976.

Mys Vyev-Navolok Light, Port Vladimir, March 2013
photo copyright Sergei Bozhenko; used by permission

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: East: Murmansk Area | West: Vadsø Area

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Posted December 7, 2005. Checked and revised December 21, 2016. Lighthouses: 28. Site copyright 2016 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.