Lighthouses of Ukraine: Odessa Area

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the northwestern coast of the Black Sea became part of the independent republic of Ukraine. Except for a brief period of independence during the Russian Revolution (1917-20), Ukraine had been part of Russian or Soviet empires since 1654. However, the coastline of the Black Sea was mostly under the control of the Ottoman (Turkish) Empire until it was taken by Russia during a series of wars in the second half of the 1700s.

The Black Sea's northern coast is in several sections. In the west is the Bight of Odessa, named for Ukraine's largest port (whose name is spelled Odesa in Ukrainian). In the center is the diamond shaped peninsula of Crimea. To the east is the Sea of Azov, connected to the rest of the Black Sea by the very narrow Kerch Strait at the eastern end of Crimea. This page includes the lighthouses of the Odessa Oblast (province), the westernmost section of the Ukrainian coast.

In March 2014, Russia annexed Crimea, leaving the Ukrainian coast in two sections: the Bight of Odessa in the west and the northwestern side of the Sea of Azov in the east. The annexation of Crimea has not been accepted by Ukraine or recognized internationally. Important note: The Lighthouse Directory takes no position on any international dispute; our task is to describe lighthouses, not comment on politics. Our descriptions are of the actual situation, whatever it may be.

Lighthouses in Ukraine are maintained by Gosgidrografiya, the hydrography and navigation service of the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

The Ukrainian word for a lighthouse is mayak (маяк), identical to the Russian word. As in Russia, the provinces of the country are called oblasts.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. UA numbers are the Ukrainian light list numbers as reported by Ukrainian Lighthouses on the Air. Admiralty numbers are from volume N of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 113. The Ukrainian light list, Вогні і знаки Чорного та Азовського морів (Lights and Signs of the Black and Azov Seas), is not available online.

General Sources
Gosgidrografiya - Lighthouses
Photos and historical information on the Gosgidrografiya web site. There is also a page of unlabeled photos of Ukrainian lighthouses.
Ukrainian Lighthouses on the Air (ULA)
This web site by Ukrainian amateur radio operators has valuable information about the lights and many photos. The ULA lighthouse list is available here.
Online List of Lights - Ukraine
Photos by various photographers posted by Alex Trabas. The photos from Odessa harbor are by Douglas Cameron.
ARLHS - Lighthouses in Ukraine
The ARLHS Ukraine listing; photos contributed by Ukrainian amateur radio operators are available for many of the lighthouses.
Wikimedia - Lighthouses in Ukraine
Photos available from Wikimedia.
World of Lighthouses - Ukraine
Photos available from Lightphotos.net.
Lighthouse Authorities - 202 Years
A history of Black Sea lighthouses by Vladimir Abrashkevich. Text in Russian.
Russische Leuchttürme auf historischen Postkarten
Historic postcard images posted by Klaus Huelse.
Lighthouses of Ukraine
Historic postcard images posted by Michel Forand.

Vorontsev Light
Vorontsov Light, Odessa, September 2009
photo copyright Douglas Cameron; used by permission

Kominternivskyi District Lighthouses
Note: Several of these lights guide vessels into and around the estuary known as Velykyi Adzhalykskiy, on the north shore of the Black Sea about 40 km (25 mi) east northeast of Odessa. Biliari is a small port on the east side of the estuary, and Novi Biliari is a larger, much newer port on the west side.
Sychavskiy
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 44 m (144 ft); white light, 1.5 s on, 2.5 s off. 10 m (33 ft) skeletal tower with an enclosed "watch room" structure mounted on the roof of a building. Building painted white. A distant view is available, ULA has a page but no photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located above the beach about 3 km (1.8 mi) southeast of Sychavka. Site status unknown. ARLHS UKR-053; UA-0472; Admiralty N5108; NGA 17992.
Velykyi Adzhalykskiy Lower Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 47 m (154 ft); continuous green light visible only on the range line. 17 m (56 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower with lantern and gallery. Tower painted black; the front of the tower is covered by a slatted daymark painted white with an orange vertical stripe. No photo available, but Google has a good satellite view. Located in a field east of the estuary, about 1 km (0.6 mi) southeast of Voronivka. Site status unknown. Admiralty N5107.3.
Velykyi Adzhalykskiy Lower Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 69 m (226 ft); continuous green light visible only on the range line. 29 m (95 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower with lantern and gallery. Tower painted black; the front of the tower is covered by a slatted daymark painted white with an orange vertical stripe. No photo available, but Google has a good satellite view. Located about 1.1 km (0.7 mi) north northeast of the front light. Site and tower probably closed, but the lighthouse should be easy to see from nearby roads. Admiralty N5107.31.
Velykyi Adzhalykskiy Upper Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 35 m (115 ft); continuous red light visible only on the range line. 18 m (59 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower with lantern and gallery. Tower painted black; the front of the tower is covered by a slatted daymark painted orange. A 2008 photo of both range lights is available, and Google has a good satellite view. Located at the northern end of the estuary south of Vyzyrka. Site and tower probably closed, but the lighthouse is easy to see from nearby roads. Admiralty N5107.9.
Velykyi Adzhalykskiy Upper Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 35 m (115 ft); continuous red light visible only on the range line. 18 m (59 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower with lantern and gallery. Tower painted black; the front of the tower is covered by a slatted daymark painted orange. A 2008 photo of both range lights is available, and Google has a good satellite view. Located about 275 m (900 ft) north of the front light. Site and tower probably closed, but the lighthouse is easy to see from nearby roads. Admiralty N5107.91.
* Grigoryevskiy (2)
1972 (station established 1955). Active; focal plane 60 m (197 ft); white flash every 3 s. 15 m (49 ft) round vase-shaped concrete tower with gallery. Upper portion painted black, lower portion white. A good 2008 photo is available, ULA has a page, and Google has a satellite view. This lighthouse marks the west side of the entrance to the estuary south of Hryhorivka. The lighthouse was renovated in 1997, and new lighting equipment was installed. Located next to the coastal highway and about 600 m (0.4 mi) from the coast. Site appears open, tower closed. ARLHS UKR-045; UA-0446; Admiralty N5107; NGA 17988.
* Luzanovskiy (Mys Severnyy Odesskiy, Odessa North Cape, Cape Lukul)
1972. Active; focal plane 56 m (184 ft); white light, 1.5 s on, 3.5 s off. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical tower with an expanded upper section and a small lantern and gallery. Lantern and upper section painted red, lower section white. 1-story equipment house nearby. Minami Himemiya's photo is at right, another closeup is available, ULA has a page with two photos, and Google has a satellite view. The lighthouse was restored in 1999. Located on a promontory at the north entrance to Odessa Bay, about 16 km (10 mi) northeast of the central city. Site appears open, tower closed. ARLHS UKR-057; UA-0439; Admiralty N5106; NGA 17984.
Luzanovskiy Light
Luzanovskiy Light, April 2008
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Minami Himemiya

Odessa Lighthouses
Neftyana Gavan' Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 22 m (72 ft); continuous green light, visible only on the range line. 22 m (72 ft) skeletal tower with gallery; the tower carries a black trapezoidal daymark. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on the quay of Neftyana harbor, a petroleum terminal on the north side of Odessa. Site and tower closed. Admiralty N5103; NGA 17936.
Neftyana Gavan' Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 29 m (92 ft); continuous red light, visible only on the range line. 26 m (85 ft) skeletal tower with gallery; the tower carries a black trapezoidal daymark. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on the quay of Neftyana harbor, a petroleum terminal on the north side of Odessa. Site and tower closed. Admiralty N5103.1; NGA 17940.
Odessa Dredged Channel Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 25 m (82 ft); continuous green light, visible only on the range line. 22 m (72 ft) skeletal tower; the tower carries triangular and rectangular daymarks painted white with a black vertical stripe. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Trabas has Cameron's photo of the front light, a white skeletal tower at the west end of a detached breakwater. Located in Zavods'ka Gavan', an older section of Odessa's waterfront. Site and tower closed. Admiralty N5092.1; NGA 17932.
* Stvornyy (Odessa Range Rear)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 55 m (180 ft); continuous red light. 20 m (66 ft) white tower atop a building. Trabas has Cameron's photo, but the light has not been located in Google's satellite view. Located on the slope several blocks from the Odessa waterfront. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty N5084; NGA 17916.
Vorontsov (Reydovyy, Odessa Range Front) (3)
1955 (station established 1888). Active; focal plane 27 m (89 ft); three red flashes every 12 s. 26 m (85 ft) round cylindrical cast iron or steel tower with lantern and gallery, rising from a 1-story concrete building. The lighthouse is white; lantern painted red. Nautophone fog signal (five blasts every 60 s). Trabas has Cameron's photo also seen at the top of this page, Todor Kamenov has posted an excellent closeup, ULA has a page with two photos, ARLHS has a photo, Huelse has a postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. Huelse also has a postcard view of the first (1888) lighthouse, which was blown up by German troops in World War II. It was replaced with a temporary wood tower. Wikimedia has photos of both the original and the new towers. The first Odessa light was placed on a waterfront building in 1845; it was replaced by a cast iron tower on the waterfront in 1863. Located at the end of a curving breakwater that protects the southeastern corner of Odessa's harbor. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed, but there are excellent views from cruise ships arriving in the city. ARLHS UKR-033; UA-0340; Admiralty N5082; NGA 17912.
Odessa (Fontana, Odesskiy Zaliv) (3)
Date unknown (station established 1827). Active; focal plane 84 m (276 ft); three white flashes every 12 s. 27 m (89 ft) square cylindrical steel skeletal tower with triple gallery and enclosed watch room, painted with red and white horizontal bands. A photo is at right, ULA has a page with three photos, and Google has a satellite view. This is one of Ukraine's oldest light stations, and it is the traditional landfall light for Odessa. Forand has a historic postcard view of the original lighthouse, a masonry tower about 15 m (49 ft) tall. Huelse has a 1910 postcard view of the second (?) lighthouse, a cast iron skeletal with central cylinder built in 1901; Forand has a second postcard view. Members of the Zakharov family served as keepers at this station for more than 100 years. Located on Cape Fontana, a headland about 8 km (5 mi) south of downtown Odessa. Site status unknown. ARLHS UKR-018; UA-0295; Admiralty N5078; NGA 17904.
Fontana Light
Odessa (Fontana) Light, Odessa
unattributed photo from lighthouse21v.narod.ru

Illichivsk Lighthouses
Note: Illichivsk is a city about 25 km (15 mi) south of Odessa with a port developed under Soviet rule on the Sukhyi Liman. The name of the liman means "dry estuary," because it was formerly cut off from the Black Sea by a sandy barrier. A deepwater channel was cut through the barrier in 1957 to create the port.
Sukhyi Lyman (Sukhoy Liman) Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 40 m (131 ft); continuous green light visible only on the range line. Approx. 38 m (125 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower with gallery. Upper half of the tower painted black, lower half white. A photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of a pier on the north side of Sukhoy harbor, about 4 km (2.5 mi) northwest of the Illichivskiy lighthouse. Site and tower closed. Admiralty N5076; NGA 17892.
Sukhyi Lyman (Sukhoy Liman) Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 51 m (167 ft); continuous white light visible only on the range line. Approx. 38 m (125 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower with gallery. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located in an industrial zone about 250 m (800 ft) north northwest of the front light. Site and tower closed. Admiralty N5076.1; NGA 17896.
Illichivsk Entrance (Oleksandrivka, Aleksandrouka) Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 46 m (151 ft); continuous green light. 27 m (89 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower with gallery, painted black. The tower carries a large rectangular slatted daymark, painted white with a black vertical stripe on the range line. No photo available, but Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located in an industrial area on the west side of the harbor in Illichivsk. Site status unknown. Admiralty N5072; NGA 17868.
Illichivsk Entrance (Oleksandrivka, Aleksandrouka) Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 72 m (236 ft); continuous red light. 29 m (95 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower with gallery, mounted on a concrete platform supported over a street by four piles. Tower painted black; the tower also carries a large rectangular slatted daymark, painted white with a black vertical stripe on the range line. A closeup photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located 700 m (0.44 mi) west northwest of the front light. Site status unknown. Admiralty N5072.1; NGA 17872.
Illichivsk (Il'ichevskiy) South Mole
1965. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); red light, 4.5 s on, 4.5 s off, 1.5 s on, 1.5 s off. 18 m (59 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, centered on a 1-story equipment building. Lighthouse painted with red and white horizontal bands; lantern dome painted red, equipment building white. A photo is at right, ULA has a page with two photos, a photo of the lighthouse in action is available, and Bing has an indistinct satellite view. Upgraded in 2005, the lighthouse marks the entrance to the Sukhyi Liman and the harbor of Illichivsk. Site status unknown. ARLHS UKR-020; UA-0168; Admiralty N5071; NGA 17860.
Ilichevsk Light
Illichivsk South Mole Light, April 2008
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Minami Himemiya
* Sanzhiika (Sanzijka, Sanzhiyskyy, Sanzheyskiy) (3)
2010 (station established 1921). Active; focal plane 41 m (135 ft); two green flashes every 15 s. 28 m (92 ft) octagonal cylindrical masonry tower with lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted white, lantern dome green. In 2010 this lighthouse was replaced by a new tower having the same appearance as the old one, but 9 m (30 ft) taller. Gosgidrografiya has a photo of the new tower (third photo on the page). A photo of the shorter 1957 tower is at right, ULA has a page, and Google has a good satellite view. Located above the beach about 16 km (10 mi) northeast of the mouth of the Dnister and about 15 km (9 mi) southwest of Illichivsk. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS UKR-028; UA-0158; Admiralty N5068; NGA 17848.

Budjak: Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi District Lighthouses
Note: The coastal region between the Dnister and Danube Rivers was known historically as Budjak. After being taken from the Ottoman Empire by Russia in 1812, this border region had a complex history, with control alternating between Russia and Romania. In 1940, Romania was forced to cede Budjak to the Soviet Union, and following World War II it remained under Soviet control until the Union's collapse in 1991. A bridge on the coastal P70 highway at Zatoka is the only direct connection between Budjak and the rest of Ukraine.
* Tsaregradskoe Girlo Range Front (2?)
Date unknown (station established 1945?). Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); continuous green light. 21 m (69 ft) square cylindrical steel skeletal tower with gallery, painted red. The upper half of the front of the tower is covered by a slatted daymark, painted red with a white vertical stripe on the range line. ULA has a page with a photo, and Google has a satellite view. The range guides vessels through the narrow inlet in the barrier bar at the mouth of the Dnister River. Located on the waterfront at Zatoka, on the south side of the inlet. Site appears open, tower closed. ARLHS UKR-096; UA-0090; Admiralty N5060; NGA 17840.
* Tsaregradskoe Girlo Range Rear (Zatoka) (6)
1989 (station established at least by 1827). Active; focal plane 34 m (112 ft); white light, 3 s on, 4.5 s off. 32 m (105 ft) square steel skeletal tower with gallery, painted red. The upper half of the front of the tower is enclosed by a large daymark, painted with red and white horizontal bands and with a white vertical stripe on the range line. ULA has a page with a photo, a 2008 photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. The range guides vessels through the narrow inlet in the barrier bar at the mouth of the Dnister River. Wood lighthouses were built to mark this entrance in 1827, 1851, and 1884. In 1900, a prefabricated French cast iron tourelle was installed; it survived the early years of World War II but was blown up by retreating German troops in August 1944. Replacement range lights were operating by the end of 1945. Located on the waterfront at Zatoka, 220 m (720 ft) west of the front light and just east of the bridge over the inlet. Site appears open, tower closed. ARLHS UKR-097; UA-0091; Admiralty N5060.1; NGA 17844.

1957 Sanzhiika Light, July 2009
Wikimedia public domain photo by Dinamik
* Budaki (5?)
1986 (station established 1851). Active; focal plane 38 m (125 ft); white flash every 5 s. 15 m (49 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower with a small lantern and gallery; the seaward face of the tower carries a slatted daymark painted black with a white vertical stripe. ULA has a page with two photos, a 2008 photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. According to Gosgidrografiya, the original lighthouse was replaced "several times," and the present light replaced a similar tower built in 1960. This lighthouse stands on one of the highest points of the long, sandy coastline stretching southwest from the mouth of the Dnister River. Located above the beach at Budaki, about 30 km (19 mi) south of Bilhorod-Dnistrovsky. Site appears open, tower closed. ARLHS UKR-084; UA-0059; Admiralty N5056; NGA 17828.

Budjak: Tatarbunarskyi District Lighthouses
* Lebedivka (Burnas)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 25 m (82 ft); red light, 1 s on, 1 s off. 13 m (43 ft) square cylindrical tower with lantern rising from a 2-story building. Wikimapia has a photo (first thumbnail), and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Lebedivka, formerly called Bad Burnas, is a seaside resort in far southwestern Ukraine. Located at the northern end of Lebedivka. Site status unknown, but probably open, tower status unknown. Admiralty N5054; NGA 17824.
* Ozero Sagany (Shagany) (2)
1965 (station established 1944). Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); white flash every 3 s. 16 m (52 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with gallery and a prominent topmark in the form of two inverted cones. Tower painted red, topmarks black. A. Serduchenko has a photo, V. Kostyrev also has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the barrier beach at the southern end of the Sagany lagoon. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty N5053.6; NGA 17820.

Budjak: Kiliiskyi District (Danube Delta) Lighthouses
* Prymorsk (Primorskoye)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); white flash every 5 s. 12 m (39 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, carrying a slatted daymark. A photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located about 150 m (165 yd) from the beach at Prymorsk, at the south end of the Sasyk lagoon. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty N5053; NGA 17808.
Prorvinskiy Rezervnyy Range Rear
Date unknown. Inactive since 2009. A photo of the two range lights is available, but they are not seen in Google's fuzzy satellite view of the area. Located about 4 km (2.5 mi) south of the entrance to the Prorva branch, the northernmost mouth of the Danube. Site status unknown. Admiralty N5041.2; NGA 17792.
Bystroye Girlo Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); white light, 3 s on, 2 s off. 15 m (49 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower with lantern carrying a daymark painted white with a black vertical stripe. No photo available, but Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located on the north side of the entrance to the Bystroye Girlo branch of the Danube. Site status unknown. Admiralty N5038.01; NGA 17790.1.

Ostriv Zmiinyi (Snake Island) Lighthouse
Zmiinyi (Zmiyinyy, Zmeiny, Serpilor, Snake Island)
1846. Active; focal plane 54 m (177 ft); white light, 1.5 s on, 3 s off. 18 m (59 ft) octagonal brick tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-story brick keeper's house. Lighthouse painted white; the lantern is gray metallic. A photo is at right, Anatoliy Martynov's photo is at right, ULA has several photos, another closeup photo and a third photo are available, and Google has a distant satellite view of the location. Snake Island is a small limestone island in the Black Sea about 35 km (22 mi) east of the Danube Delta. The island was part of the Ottoman Empire until the Russo-Turkish War of 1828-29, when it was occupied by Russia. The lighthouse was built under Russian control, but in 1856 the island returned to Turkey following the Crimean War. The Turkish administration upgraded the lighthouse with a Fresnel lens in 1862. After the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78 the island was assigned to Romania. In 1948 it was occupied by Soviet troops, an annexation Romania has never accepted. The Soviets repaired heavy damage the lighthouse ahd suffered during World War II. The island was inherited by Ukraine in 1991, with Romania still protesting. Under a 1997 treaty between Ukraine and Romania, Ukraine agreed to demilitarize the island, and it is now occupied by a scientific station and civilian border guards. The lighthouse is located at the highest point of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed (permission is required for visits). ARLHS UKR-050; UA-0001; Admiralty N5036; NGA 17772.
Zmiinyi Light
Zmiinyi Light, March 2007
Panoramio photo copyright Anatoliy Martynov
permission requested

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: East: Mykolaiv Area | South: Romania

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Posted February 19, 2007. Checked and revised September 24, 2013. Lighthouses: 28. Site copyright 2013 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.