Lighthouses of Russia: Taymyria

Russia's Northern Sea Route (Sevmorput) is a well developed sea lane extending through the Arctic Ocean to connect the Atlantic and Pacific. The route extends from Murmansk at the northwestern corner of Russia past the island of Novaya Zemlya and parallel to the Siberian coast all the way to the Bering Strait. East of Novaya Zemlya the shipping essentially is all Russian, and as a result this coastline is almost completely unknown in the West.

Taymyria is the region of the Arctic including the Taymyr Peninsula, the northernmost extension of Eurasia. The region borders the Kara Sea to the northwest and the Laptev Sea to the northeast. Administratively, it is a part of the Taymyrsky Dolgano-Nenetsky District of Krasnoyarsk Krai. The district has fewer than 35,000 permanent residents, most of whom live in the town of Dudinka on the lower Yenisey River.

This page includes lighthouses of the Taymyr peninsula area; there is a separate page for the lighthouses of the Yenisey Gulf.

Practically no information is available concerning these lighthouses, so additional information is needed and would be welcome.

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 L of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA numbers are from Publication 115.

Ostrov Vardropper Light
Ostrov Vardropper Light, Plavnikov Islands, April 2011
Panoramio photo copyright geiden; used by permission

General Sources
World of Lighthouses - Arctic Coast of Russia
Photos available from Lightphotos.net.
Pyasina Gulf Lighthouses
Ostrov Zapadnyy Kamennyy
Date unknown. Active; focal plane and light characteristic unknown. 8 m (26 ft) square wood skeletal tower. A photo is available, but Google has only a very distant satellite view of the area. The light marks the western end of the Kamennyy Islands, about 160 km (100 mi) northeast of Dikson. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown.
Mys Polovinka
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 27 m (89 ft); white flash every 5 s. 12 m (39 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower. No photo available, and Google has only a very distant satellite view of the area. Located on a headland at the southern entrance to the Pyasina River delta. Site status unknown. NGA 17272.
Ostrov Otmelyy
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); white flash every 5 s. 13 m (43 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower. No photo available, and Google has only a very distant satellite view of the area. Located on an island in the entrance to the Pyasina River delta. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. NGA 17276.

Plavnikov Islands Lighthouses
Note: The Plavnikov Islands are a complex archipelago lying between the Pyasina Gulf and the Kolosovykh Peninsula on the west side of Taymyr Peninsula.
Ostrov Baranov
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 31 m (102 ft); white flash every 10 s. 11 m (36 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower. A photo is available, but Google has only a very distant satellite view of the island. Located on a small island marking the western end of the Plavnikov Islands. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. NGA 17280.
Ostrov Vardropper
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 28 m (92 ft); white flash every 8 s. Approx. 15 m (49 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower. A photo is at the top of this page, but Google has only a very distant satellite view of the island. Located on a small, isolated island about 22.5 km (14 mi) north of Ostrov Baranov. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown.
Ostrov Oleniy
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 68 m (223 ft); white flash every 5 s. 14 m (46 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower. No photo available, and Google has only a very distant satellite view of the area. Located near the west end of one of the larger islands of the Plavnikov group. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty L9343; NGA 17292.
Ostrov Diabazovyy
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); white flash every 10 s. 15 m (49 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower. A photo is available, but Google has only a very distant satellite view of the island. Located on a small island at the northwestern end of the Plavnikov group. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty L9344; NGA 17296.
Ostrov Popovachukina
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 27 m (89 ft); white flash every 7 s. 12 m (39 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower. No photo available, and Google has only a very distant satellite view of the area. Located on a large island at the north end of the Plavnikov group. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty L9345; NGA 17300.
Ostrov Diabazovyy Light
Ostrov Diabazovyy Light, Plavnikov Islands, April 2011
Panoramio photo copyright geiden; used by permission

Central Kara Sea Lighthouse
Ostrov Uyedineniya (Uedineniya)
Date unknown. Active (?); focal plane and light characteristic unknown. Approx. 8 m (26 ft) square wood skeletal tower next to a 1-story wood building. The light tower is in the left background, at the right end of a building, in the 1985 view at right, WLOTA has a photo, and Google has only a very fuzzy satellite view of the island. Uyedineniya Island (Solitude Island) is an isolated island in the central Kara Sea, about 330 km (200 mi) north of the Plavnikov Islands. A polar observatory on the island was abandoned in 1996. The lighthouse is presumably located at the observatory. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS ASR-083.

Western Taymyr Peninsula Lighthouses
Mikhaylova Severnyy
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 35 m (115 ft); white flash every 9 s. 13 m (43 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower. No photo available, and Google has only a very distant satellite view of the area. Located at the northwestern end of the Mikhaylova Peninsula, which projects about 50 km (30 mi) into the Kara Sea north of the Plavikov Islands. Site status unknown. Admiralty L9348; NGA 17304.
Mys Sterlegova
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 34 m (112 ft); white flash every 6 s. 12 m (39 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower. No photo available, and Google has only a very distant satellite view of the area. Located on a promontory about 65 km (40 mi) northeast of the Mikhaylova Peninsula. Site status unknown. Admiralty L9349.5; NGA 17336.
Ostrov Ringnes
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 45 m (148 ft); white light, 2 s on, 6 s off. 12 m (39 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower. No photo available, and Google has only a very distant satellite view of the island. Located on a small island, the westernmost island of the Mona group, about 40 km (25 mi) off the coast of the Taymyr Peninsula. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty L9450; NGA 17324.
Ostrov Uyedineniya Light
Ostrov Uyedineniya Station, Kara Sea, 1985
photo from Soviet polar program archives
Ostrov Kravkova
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 45 m (148 ft); white flash every 4 s. Light mounted on the roof of a 1-1/2 story wood building. WLOTA has a photo, and Google has a very distant satellite view of the island. Located at the west end of a small island of the Mona group, about 25 km (15 mi) east of Ostrov Kravkova. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS ASR-082; Admiralty L9452; NGA 17328.
Ostrov Krayniy
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); white flash every 5 s. 9 m (30 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower. No photo available, and the island is only a blur in Google's satellite view. Located on the easternmost island of the Mona group. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty L9454; NGA 17332.
Ostrov Belukhi
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 39 m (128 ft); white light, 2 s on, 6 s off. 14 m (46 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower. No photo available, and the island does not appear in Google's satellite view. Located on an island at the western end of the Shren group. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty L9462; NGA 17340.
Ostrov Gydoyamo
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 46 m (151 ft); white flash every 6 s. 12 m (39 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower. No photo available, and Google has only a very distant satellite view of the island. Located on an island at the northeastern end of the Shren group. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty L9464; NGA 17344.
Mys De-Kolonga
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 48 m (157 ft); white flash every 4 s. 8 m (26 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower, with a "rectangular superstructure" according to NGA. No photo available, and Google has only a very distant satellite view of the area. Located on an island tenuously connected to the mainland east of the Shren group. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty L9466; NGA 17348.
Ostrov Ledyanoy
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); white flash every 9 s. 8 m (26 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower. No photo available, and Google has only a very distant satellite view of the island. Located on a small island close to the Taymyr coast about 25 km (15 mi) east of Mys De-Kolonga. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty L9467; NGA 17352.

Matisen Strait Lighthouses

Note: The Matisen Strait is a narrow passage between the Taymyr Peninsula and the Nordenskjöld Archipelago. The strait is named for Fyodor Matisen, the captain of the ship Zarya that explored and mapped this area in the Russian Polar Expedition of 1900-03.
Ostrov Prady
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 30 m (98 ft); one long white flash every 12 s. 11 m (36 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower. No photo available, and Google has only a very distant satellite view of the island. This important light marks the western entrance to the Matisen Strait. Located on an island on the south side of the strait. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty L9470; NGA 17360.
Ostrov Skalistyy
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); white flash every 4 s. 12 m (39 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower. No photo available, and Google has only a very fuzzy satellite view of the island. Located on an island on the south side of the strait, at about the midway point. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty L9473; NGA 17368.
Ostrov Moiseyevka
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 52 m (171 ft); white flash every 5 s. 8 m (26 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower. No photo available, and Google has only a very distant satellite view of the island. Located on an island on the south side of the strait at the eastern entrance. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. NGA 17372.
Ostrov Bliznetsy
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 27 m (89 ft); white light, 2 s on, 6 s off. 12 m (39 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower. No photo available, and Google has only a very fuzzy satellite view of the island. Located on an island in the eastern entrance to the strait. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty L9476; NGA 17392.
Ostrov Malyy
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); white flash every 5 s. 9 m (30 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower. No photo available, and Google has only a very fuzzy satellite view of the island. Located on an island about 25 km (15 mi) east of Ostrov Bliznetsy. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. NGA 17396.
Mys Oskara
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 24 m (79 ft); white flash every 10 s. 15 m (49 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower. No photo available, and Google has only a very fuzzy satellite view of the island. Located on a promontory of the mainland at the tip of the Oskar Peninsula, about 50 km (30 mi) east of the Ostrov Tyrtova light (see below). Site status unknown. NGA 17404.

Nordenskjöld Archipelago Lighthouses

Note: The Nordenskjöld Archipelago (Arkhipelag Nordenshel'da in Russian) is a large and complex group of islands off the north coast of the Taymyr Peninsula. For vessels eastbound along the Siberian coast, the islands lie in the approach to the Vilkitsky Strait, an important passage of the Northern Sea Route.
Ostrov Makarova
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 33 m (108 ft); white flash every 4.5 s. 12 m (39 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower. No photo available, and Google has only a very fuzzy satellite view of the island. Located at the westernmost tip of the archipelago. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty L9472; NGA 17356.
Ostrov Russkiy Southwest
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 24 m (79 ft); one long white flash every 5 s. 20 m (66 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower. No photo available, and Google has only a very fuzzy satellite view of the location. Ostrov Russkiy is the largest and northernmost island of the Nordenskjöld Archipelago; the island is about 80 km (50 mi) long southwest to northeast. Located on the southwestern tip of the island. Site status unknown. Admiralty L9478; NGA 17388.
Ostrov Russkiy North
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); one long white flash every 6 s. 10 m (33 ft) light mounted atop a station building. No photo available, and Google has only a very fuzzy satellite view of the cape. This light is probably at the Ostrov Russkiy polar observatory, founded in 1935 but closed in 1999. Improbably, this area was the scene of naval battle during World War II; in August 1942 the German heavy cruiser Admiral Scheer sank the Russian icebreaker Sibiryakova off the cape. Located on the northern tip off Ostrov Russkiy, which is also the northernmost point of the archipelago. Site status unknown. Admiralty L9479; NGA 17384.
Ostrov Tyrtova
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 28 m (92 ft); white flash every 4.5 s. 12 m (39 ft) "structure," presumably a station building. No photo available, and Google has only a very fuzzy satellite view of the island. There was a polar observatory based on Ostrov Tyrtova from 1940 to 1975. Located at the southern tip of the island, which is also the southeasternmost tip of the archipelago. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. NGA 17397.

Vilkitsky Strait Lighthouses

Note: The Vilkitsky Strait is the passage between Cape Chelyuskin, the northern tip of the Taymyr Peninsula, and Ostrov Bol'shevik, the southernmost of the three main islands of the Severnaya Zemlya archipelago. This strait, about 55 km (34 mi) wide, is a key passage in the Northern Sea Route, connecting the Kara Sea and the Laptev Sea.
Ostrova Firnleya (Firnley Islands)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 30 m (98 ft); white flash every 7.5 s. 8 m (26 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower. No photo available, and Google has only a very fuzzy satellite view of the island chain. Located on the southwesternmost of the Firnley Islands, about 50 km (30 mi) southwest of the western entrance of the strait. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. NGA 17412.
Mys Neupokoyeva (Ostrov Bol'shevik)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); white light, 2 s on, 8 s off. 9 m (30 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower. No photo available, and Google has only a very fuzzy satellite view of the location. Located at the southwestern tip of Ostrov Bol'shevik, the southernmost point of Severnaya Zemlya and the north side of the entrance to Vilkitsky Strait. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. NGA 17428.
Ostrova Geyberga (Heiberg Islands) (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 31 m (102 ft); white flash every 9 s. 8 m (26 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower. No photo available, and Google has only a very fuzzy satellite view of the island chain. The Heiberg Islands lie in the center of the western entrance to the strait. A 1983 photo shows a light atop the polar station in the islands, and a 2008 aerial photo confirms that this station building still stands, but without the light. The modern light is located at the eastern tip of the islands. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. NGA 17416.
Ostrov Gansena
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); white flash every 5 s. 8 m (26 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower. No photo available, and Google has only a very fuzzy satellite view of the island. Located on an island off the Taymyr Peninsula coast about 50 km (30 mi) southwest of Cape Chelyuskin. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. NGA 17424.
Mys Chelyuskina (Cape Chelyuskin) (2)
Date unknown (station established 1878). Active; focal plane 41 m (134 ft); one long white flash every 10 s. 17 m (56 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower. The light is seen in the aerial view at right, but Google has only a very fuzzy satellite view of the cape. Cape Chelyuskin is the northernmost point of the Eurasian mainland, at latitude 77°42' north. The cape is named for its discoverer, Semion Chelyuskin, who reached this point overland in 1742. A stone cairn and a small unlit beacon were built here in 1878 by the Swedish explorer Adolf Erik Nordenskjöld, who went on to complete the first successful passage of the Northern Sea Route. These structures still stand, as seen in a 1986 photo and a 2007 photo of the cairn. There has been a weather station on the cape since 1932. Located on heights at the cape. Site presumably open, tower closed. Admiralty L9494; NGA 17432.
Mys Shcherbina
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 54 m (177 ft); white flash every 5 s. 13.5 m (44 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower. No photo available, and Google has only a very fuzzy satellite view of the cape. Located on a cape about 15 km (9 mi) east southeast of Cape Chelyuskin. Site status unknown. NGA 17444.
Mys Pronchishcheva
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 22 m (72 ft); white flash every 2 s. 12.5 m (41 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower. No photo available, and Google has only a very fuzzy satellite view of the cape. Located "in the vicinity" (according to NGA) of a prominent cape about 80 km (50 mi) southeast of Cape Chelyuskin. Site status unknown. Admiralty L9500; NGA 17448.
Cape Chelyuskin
Cape Chelyuskin (Mys Chelyuskina) Light, March 2007
City of Vorkuta photo

Severnaya Zemlya Lighthouse
Ostrov Sredny
Date unknown. Inactive. Approx. 8 m (26 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower. A photo is available, but Google has only a fuzzy satellite view of the area. Located on a small island at the northwestern corner of October Revolution Island, the central and largest island of the Severnaya Zenmlya group. Site status unknown.

Laptev Sea Lighthouses
Ostrov Andreya
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 31 m (102 ft); white flash every 5 s. 18 m (59 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower. A photo is at right, but Google has only a very fuzzy and mostly obscured satellite view of the island. Located on an island a short distance off the mainland coast about 240 km (150 mi) southeast of Cape Chelyuskin. Site status unknown. NGA 17456.
Ostrova Petra (Ostrov Severnyy)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 19 m (62 ft); white light, 2 s on, 6 s off. 10 m (33 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower. No photo available, and Google has only a very fuzzy satellite view of the area. Located on or near the northern tip of Ostrov Severnyy about 65 km (40 mi) southeast of Ostrov Andreya. Site status unknown. NGA 17460.
Ostrova Yuzhnyy
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 10 m (33 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower. No photo available, and assuming NGA has the right coordinates the island does not appear in Google's satellite view. Located on a small island off the northeastern tip of the Taymyr Peninsula. Site status unknown. NGA 17464.
Ostrov Psov
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 37 m (121 ft); white flash every 5 s. 18 m (59 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower. No photo available, and Google has only a very distant satellite view of the island. Located on the northern tip of an island off the easternmost extension of the Taymyr Peninsula. Site status unknown. NGA 17468.

Khatanga Gulf Lighthouses

Note: The Khatanga Gulf is a 220 km (135 mi) long estuary at the base of the Taymyr Peninsula; it forms part of the boundary between the Sakha Republic and the Taymyria district. An island, Ostrov Bol'shoy Begichev, separates the mouth of the gulf into two straits, northern and eastern.
Mys Kul'cha
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 38 m (125 ft); white flash every 2 s. 11 m (36 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower. No photo available, and Google has only a very distant satellite view of the cape. Located on a prominent cape in the southern portion of the gulf, marking the entrance to the Kozhevnikov Bay. Site status unknown. NGA 17496.
Ostrov Andreya
Ostrov Andreya Light, Laptev Sea, September 2010
Panoramio photo copyright Romikass; used by permission

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: East: Sakha Republic | West: Yenisey Gulf

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Posted January 7, 2012. Checked and revised November 14, 2013. Lighthouses: 41. Site copyright 2013 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.