Lighthouses of Northern Iran
The northern coast of Iran is 630 km (395 mi) long, facing the southern end of the Caspian Sea (known in Iran as the Sea of Māzandarān). The Iranian coast is low and sandy, although the Alborz (Elburz) Mountains rise steeply to the south. In general the coastline lacks natural harbors; the one traditional harbor is Bandar-e Anzali at the mouth of the Sefid River near the west end of the coast. In modern times ports have been developed at Noshahr in the central part of the coast and Amirabad in the east.
lighthouses on the Caspian Sea are not included in international
light lists, not much is known about them. Given this lack
of information and photos, contributions from travelers to the area would
be very welcome.
Navigational aids in Iran are maintained by the Ports
and Maritime Organization. The Persian phrase for a lighthouse is
فانوس دریایی (fanews daraa). Jazīreh is an island, and bandar is a port or harbor.
- Gilan (Guilan) Province Lighthouses
- * Bandar-e Anzali
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 50 m (164 ft); continuous (?) white light. Approx. 50 m (164 ft) harbor control tower with a 16-sided control and observation room and a radar antenna. The light is mounted on the gallery at the top of the building. The tower is gray concrete with dark red bands around the top and bottom of the control building. David Khani's photo is at right, Vahid Benyaghoub has another photo, Daryoosh Shabani has a 2010 photo, the light is seen in action in F. Alizadeh's photo, and Google has a satellite view. The only port of Gilan Province, Bandar-e Anzali (known as Bandar-e Pahlavi before the Iranian revolution of 1979) is at the mouth of the Sefid River and the southwestern corner of the Caspian Sea, about 30 km (20 mi) northwest of the provincial capital of Rasht. Located on the west side of the harbor entrance near the base of the west breakwater. Site status unknown, but the tower is easily seen from nearby. Operator: Anzali Port.
Bandar-e Anzali Light, September 2008
Panoramio photo copyright David Khani; permission requested
- * Anzali North Breakwater (2)
- 2016. Active; focal plane about 15 m (49 ft); green light, characteristic unknown. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) round barbell-shaped green fiberglass tower mounted on a hexagonal white concrete base. A closeup photo is available, Mostafao Alavi has a 2016 photo, Vahid Tabatabaian has a 2017 street view, and Google has a satellite view. This light replaced a light on a green mast seen in Mohammad Namazi's 2015 street view. Located on the north (main) breakwater of Anzali harbor. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Anzali Port.
- * Anzali Inner Breakwater (Range Front)
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 12 m (39 ft); green light, characteristic unknown. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) square skeletal tower carrying a green triangular daymark, point up. Rahim Rahmani Nejad has a closeup and a view from the sea, Vahid Tabatabaian has a 2017 street view, and Google has a satellite view. This light appears to be the front light of a range, but it is likely that the range has been discontinued. Vahid Benyaghoub's 2006 photo of the harbor control tower also shows a tall skeletal tower that may have carried the rear light, but this tower is missing from more recent photos. New and much longer breakwaters have been built at Anzali, and probably they made the range obsolete. Located on the original west breakwater of Anzali. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. Operator: Anzali Port.
- * Anzali Clock Tower
- 1815. Inactive as a lighthouse for many years, but the tower is floodlit at night and is a prominent landmark. 28 m (92 ft) round stone tower with gallery, painted white with blue trim. A photo and an aerial view are available, and Google has a satellite view. This historic building is well known as the symbol of Anzali. Built as a lighthouse, the tower was converted to a clock tower in 1928. It was restored in 1990, and another restoration is planned. Located about 160 m (520 ft) from the waterfront on the north side of downtown Anzali. Site open, tower status unknown.
- Amir Abad Beach
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 50 m (164 ft); probably a white light, characteristic unknown. Approx. 40 m (131 ft) square pyrmidal skeletal tower with gallery. Vahid Tarighati has a 2016 photo, Ehsan Alizadeh has a street view from the beach, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on the only prominent cape on Iran's northern coast, about 50 km (30 mi) east of Bandar-e Anzali. Site status unknown.
Māzandarān Province Lighthouses
- Noshahr (Nowshahr)
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 22 m (72 ft); light characteristic unknown. Approx. 20 m (66 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower. A distant view of the harbor (the light is on the breakwater on the right) is available, and Google has a satellite view. Noshahr is a beach resort and university town in Māzandarān Province, near the southernmost point of the Caspian Sea. Located at the end of the east breakwater at Noshahr. Site status unknown, but the light is easy to see from the waterfront. Operator: Nosharh Port.
- Amirabad West Breakwater
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 12 m (39 ft); light characteristic unknown. Approx. 8 m (26 ft) square pyramidal concrete tower, painted green. No photo available, but the shadow of the tower is visible in Bing's satellite view. The Port of Amirabad is a modern port located 34 km (21 mi) northeast of the provincial capital of Sari. It is Iran's only port on the Caspian that is connected to the national railroad system, so it plays a major role in the country's international trade. Located at the end of the west breakwater of Amirabad. Site status unknown. Operator: Amirabad Port.
- Amirabad East Breakwater
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 12 m (39 ft); light characteristic unknown. Approx. 8 m (26 ft) square pyramidal concrete tower, painted red. No photo available, but the shadow of the tower is visible in Bing's satellite view. Located at the end of the east breakwater of Amirabad. Site status unknown. Operator: Amirabad Port.
Golestan Province Lighthouse
- * Bandar-e Gaz
- Date unknown. Reactivated; focal plane about 30 m (98 ft); continuous white light. Approx. 26 m (85 ft) square concrete block pillar centered on a square concrete block base, with several large lights at the top of the pillar. M.Z. Mirzaei's photo is at right, a nighttime photo is available, and Bing has a distant satellite view. The history of this structure is somewhat uncertain; apparently it was built in the 1920s to guide ships trading with Russia. Bandar-e Gaz is a town on the Gulf of Gorgan, a lagoon at the southeastern corner of the Caspian Sea. Located on Pharos Square, a park on the waterfront of the town. Site open, tower closed.
Information available on lost lighthouses:
Bandar-e Gaz Light, March 2010
Panoramio photo copyright M.Z. Mirzaei; used by permission
Notable faux lighthouses:
Adjoining pages: East: Turkmenistan | West: Azerbaijan
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Posted August 5, 2011. Checked and revised May 23, 2016.
Lighthouses: 9. Site copyright 2016 Russ Rowlett and the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill.