Lighthouses of Russia: Lake Onega

Lake Onega, the second-largest lake in Europe, is located south of the White Sea and northeast of St. Petersburg in northwestern Russia. The White Sea-Baltic Sea Canal (BBK) passes through the lake, which is navigable about six months of the year. In addition, the Volta-Baltic Waterway connects the southeastern end of Lake Onega to the upper Volga River, providing a connection southward all the way to the Black Sea and Caspian Sea. The lake drains southwestward through the Svir River to Lake Ladoga and then to the Baltic. The lake is mostly in the Republic of Karelia, a member of the Russian Federation, although the southern shore of the lake is in the Leningrad and Vologda Oblasts (provinces) of Russia. Petrozavodsk, the capital of the Karelian Republic, is on the western shore of the lake.

In the Soviet Union, all lighthouses were closed to foreign visitors. Since the breakup of the Soviet empire, conditions have become much more free, and the lighthouses have become much better known. However, better information on accessibility is needed. Photos and visitor reports would be welcome. The listing here is clockwise around the lake, starting at the southwestern corner. northeast of St. Petersburg in northwestern Russia.

Aids to navigation on the lake are presumably maintained by the River Transport division of the Russian Maritime Board. Since aids to navigation on these inland waterways are not listed on international light lists, we have no official information on which lighthouses are active or, if they are active, on their light patterns.

The local language in much of this area is Karelian, a language closely related to Finnish. The Finnish and Karelian word for a lighthouse is majakka, similar to the Russian word mayak (маяк).

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights.

General Sources
World of Lighthouses - Russian Inland Waterways
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
Lighthouses in Russia
Photos by various photographers available from Wikimedia.

Samboy Light
Samboy (Mys Cheynavolok) Light, Podporozhsky District, 2010
Panoramio photo copyright Sergey Gruzdev; used by permission

Leningrad Oblast Lighthouses

Podporozhsky District (Southwest Shore) Lighthouses
* Samboy (Sambo, Mys Cheynavolok)
1926. Inactive. 23 m (75 ft) square steel skeletal tower, upper portion enclosed by a slatted daymark, with lantern and gallery. Skeletal tower painted red, lantern and daymark painted white. Sergey Gruzdev's photo is above, a closeup photo is available, Alexey Yurikov has a 2017 photo, another photo (halfway down the page) comes with a brief report stating that the light is "no longer valid," and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Endangered. Located on Cape Cheynavolok, a prominent cape on the southwest portion of the lake, about 16 km (10 mi) northeast of Vozhesenye. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS ERU-200.
Kulikovskiy
Date unknown. Inactive. 20 m (66 ft) tower. No photo available, and trees hide the lighthouse in Google's satellite view. Located at the tip of a promontory on the north side of the exit from the lake to the Svir River and the White Sea-Baltic Sea Canal. Site status unknown. ARLHS ERU-188.
* Voznesenye
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 12 m (39 ft); continuous green light. 14 m (46 ft) square skeletal tower carrying two slatted daymarks painted white with a red vertical stripe. Google has a street view and an indistinct satellite view. This is a directional light guiding vessels entering the Svir River from the lake. Located on the east side of the river entrance in Voznesenye. Site open, tower closed.

Vologda Oblast Lighthouses

Vytegorsky District (South Shore) Lighthouses
Petropavlovskiy
Date unknown. Inactive. 16 m (52 ft) square skeletal tower with lantern and gallery. The lighthouse is covered with a dilapidated slatted wood daymark, originally painted white. Bing has a distant satellite view. Sibling of the Andomskiy lighthouse seen at right. Endangered. Located on a prominent cape north of Golyashi, about halfway between the Vytegra and Svir River entrances. Site status unknown. ARLHS ERU-197.
Vytegra River Entrance
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 17 m (56 ft); two white flashes every 4.4 s. Approx. 14 m (46 ft) round fiberglass (?) tower with gallery, raised on a tripod skeletal base. Lighthouse painted with black and white skeletal bands. A photo is available, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. This lighthouse marks the entrance to the Volga-Baltic Sea Waterway at the mouth of the Vytegra River. Located near the base of the breakwater on the north side of the entrance to the Vytegra from the lake. Site status unknown.
Vytegra Entrance Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 12 m (39 ft); continuous red light. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) skeletal tower. No photo available, but Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located on the south side of an island in the river entrance. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown.
Vytegra Entrance Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 20 m (66 ft); flashing red light. Approx. 20 m (66 ft) skeletal tower. No photo available, but Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located on the south side of the river about 600 m (3/8 mi) east southeast of the front light. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown.
Andomskiy
Date unknown. Inactive for many years; focal plane 45 m (148 ft). 16 m (52 ft) square skeletal tower. The lighthouse is covered with a dilapidated slatted wood daymark, originally painted white. The lantern fell in 2012. A photo is at right, A photo (third photo on the page) is available, and Bing has a distant satellite view. Endangered. This lighthouse is abandoned and deteriorating rapidly in the Arctic climate. Its purpose was probably to guide vessels toward the start of the Volga-Baltic Waterway, 20 km (13 mi) to the south. Located on a prominent cape at the southeast corner of the lake near Klimovskaya. Site open, tower open but unsafe. ARLHS ERU-178.
Andomskiy Light
Andomskiy Light, Vytegorsky District
unattributed photo from Geocaching.su

Republic of Karelia Lighthouses

Pudozhsky District (East Shore) Lighthouses
* Besov Nos
Date unknown. Inactive. 16 m (52 ft) round wood tower with lantern and gallery, mounted on a 2-story octagonal wood base. Lighthouse painted white with dark trim. Sergey Gruzdev's photo is at right; Evgeny Shevaturin has a 2017 photo, a closeup photo and another photo are available, and Bing has a satellite view. Endangered; Evgeny Shevaturin's 2017 photo shows the lighthouse to be in very poor condition. The site is famous for its Stone Age petroglyphs. Besov Nos is "Devil's Nose" in Russian. Located on a prominent cape on the eastern shore of the lake about 40 km (25 mi) west of Pudozh. Site open, tower closed. Site manager: unknown. ARLHS ERU-181.
Mikhaylovets
Date unknown. Inactive; focal plane 28 m (92 ft). 19 m (62 ft) square skeletal tower with lantern and gallery. No photo available, but Google has an indistinct satellite view. Endangered. Located on a small island about 4 km (2.5 mi) north northwest of Besov Nos. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS ERU-193.
Vodla River Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 14 m (46 ft); continuous green light. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) square skeletal tower carrying a slatted white daymark. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. The front light is on a similar, shorter tower. Located on the east side of the river entrance. Site open, tower closed.
Sosnovo Shalskiy
Date unknown. Inactive; focal plane 24 m (79 ft). 18 m (59 ft) square skeletal tower with lantern and gallery. No photo available, but Google has an indistinct satellite view. Endangered. Located on a small island about 2.5 km (1.5 mi) west of the mouth of the Vodla River at Ust'e. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS ERU-203.
Vasilisin
Date unknown. Inactive; focal plane 33 m (108 ft). 24 m (79 ft) four-stage square wood tower with lantern and gallery, painted with black and white vertical stripes. A closeup photo is available, but Google has only a fuzzy satellite view of the location. This impressively large and historic lighthouse is clearly endangered. Located on the island of Vasilisin, about 15 km (9 mi) west of Ust'e. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS ERU-207.
Kuzovets
Date unknown. Inactive; focal plane 24 m (79 ft). 21 m (69 ft) square skeletal tower, lower portion pyramidal, with lantern and gallery. A 2009 view from the lake is available, but Google has only a distant satellite view of the location. Endangered. This lighthouse marked the east side of the entrance to Zaonezhskiy Bay, the northern extension of Lake Onega. Located on an islet off the eastern lakeshore near Lukostrov. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS ERU-189.
Besov Nos Light
Besov Nos Light, Pudozhsky District, July 2005
Panoramio photo copyright Sergey Gruzdev; used by permission

Segezhsky District (Lake Vygozero) Lighthouses
Note: Lake Vygozero is located about halfway between Lake Onega and the White Sea. The White Sea-Baltic Sea Canal passes lengthwise through the lake, which is strewn with islands and shoals. The Canal follows the Vyg River from Vygozero northward to the White Sea. Note: the lake really should be called Lake Vyg in English, since ozero is the Russian word for "lake."
Ostrov Bom
Date unknown. Inactive. Approx. 23 m (75 ft) square skeletal tower, lower portion pyramidal, with lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted black. A small photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Endangered. Located on a small island in the center of the northern part of the lake. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed.
Ostrov Godorovoy
Date unknown. Inactive. Approx. 23 m (75 ft) square skeletal tower, lower portion pyramidal, with lantern and gallery. A photo is available, and Bing has a satellite view. Endangered. Located on a tiny island in the center of the lake, about 10 km (6 mi) south of Ostrov Bom. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed.

Medvezhyegorsky District: Povenetskiy Bay and Zaonezhskiy Bay Lighthouses
Note: Povenetskiy Bay and Zaonezhskiy Bay together form a long, curved arm of Lake Onega extending northward to the town of Medvezh'egorsk. The upper portion of the arm, above the Krivonogovskaya peninsula, is called Povenetskiy Bay, and the lower section, connecting to the main part of Lake Onega, is Zaonezhskiy Bay. The White Sea-Baltic Sea Canal (BBK) enters Povenetskiy Bay at Povonets (Povenec) and follows the two bays southward into Lake Onega proper. The listing here is from north to south along the bays.
Povenets Breakwater (Povenetskiy)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 17 m (56 ft); white flash every 3.1 s. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, covered with white panels as a daymark. Lightphotos.net has a closeup photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of a long, curved breakwater protecting the entrance to the White Sea-Baltic Sea Canal from Lake Onega at Povonets; Lightphotos.net has a photo that shows the canal entrance in the background. Site status unknown.
Ostrov Bychok
Date unknown. Active(?); focal plane 24 m (79 ft); white flash every 3 s. 24 m (79 ft) square skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted red; lantern painted white with a red roof. The tower carries a slatted daymark painted with red and white horizontal bands. Google has an indistinct satellite view. Endangered. Bychok means "bullhead" in Russian. Located on a small island (marking the end of a long reef) about 7 km (4.5 mi) southeast of Povenets. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS ERU-183.
Azshepskiy (Shun'ga)
Date unknown. Inactive; focal plane 22 m (72 ft). 19 m (62 ft) square steel skeletal tower with lantern and gallery. The lighthouse appears rusted and abandoned in a closeup photo. Google has an indistinct satellite view. Endangered. Located on a small island off the south side of Povenetskiy Bay near Kudnavolok. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS ERU-179.
Saloostrovskiy (Salostrov)
Date unknown. Active(?); focal plane 28 m (92 ft); two white flashes every 5 s. 22 m (72 ft) square steel skeletal tower with lantern and gallery. The upper half of the lighthouse is covered by a slatted daymark, which appears to be in dilapidated condition in a distant view from the lake. Amateur radio operator RA3NQ has another view of the lighthouse, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the tip of an island marking the end of a long shoal extending halfway across Povenetskiy Bay from the south side near Krivonogovskaya. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS ERU-199.
Megostrov (Megoostrovskiy, Ostrov Meg) Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 35 m (115 ft); continuous white light. 15 m (49 ft) skeletal mast carrying a slatted daymark. Google has a very distant satellite view. Lighthouse painted white with a black vertical stripe on the range line. Located at the southern tip of Ostrov Meg, a triangular island in the center of Povenetskiy Bay. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed.
Megostrov (Megoostrovskiy, Ostrov Meg) Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 44 m (144 ft); white flash every 3.1 s. 15 m (49 ft) skeletal mast carrying a lantern and a slatted daymark. Lighthouse painted white with a black vertical stripe on the range line; lantern dome also painted black. Amateur radio operator RV3NX has a photo, and Geocaching.su has a closeup, but Google has only a very distant satellite view. The range guides vessels northbound on a long reach through Povenetskiy Bay. Located about 100 m (330 ft) north of the front light. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS ERU-192.
Pesotskiy (Ostrov Khed)
Date unknown. Inactive; focal plane 24 m (79 ft). 22 m (72 ft) square skeletal tower, lower portion pyramidal, with a round lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted red with white slatted daymarks near the top. Lightphotos.net has Nikita Groshkov's closeup photo and distant view, and Bing has an indistinct satellite view. Endangered. This light was replaced by a buoy. Located on an island on a long shoal in the center of the bay, about 8 km (5 mi) northeast of Afonino. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS ERU-196.
Tambits Nos
Date unknown. Inactive(?); focal plane 25 m (82 ft). 23 m (75 ft) square skeletal tower, lower portion pyramidal, with lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted red with dilapidated white slatted daymarks near the top. A photo by Alex Kondratyev is at right, and Bing has a distant satellite view. Endangered. Located near Tambitsiy on a peninsula at the "bend of the elbow," where the direction of the fjord changes by 90°, from northeast to northwest. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS ERU-206.
Tambits Nos Light
Tambits Nos Light, Medvezhyegorsky District, August 2010
Panoramio Creative Commons photo by Alex Kondratyev

Medvezhyegorsky District: North Shore (Kizhi Area) Lighthouses
Note: Kizhi is a small island on the north coast of Lake Onega, famous as the location of two 18th century Orthodox churches.
Leynavolok
Date unknown. Inactive(?). No information is available about this lighthouse; there is a 1982 distant photo, and Google has a distant satellite view. Located at the tip of a promontory at the west side of the entrance to Zaonezhskiy Bay and the east side of the entrance to Velikaya Bay. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown.
Ostrov Voroniy (Velikaya Bay)
Date unknown. Inactive. Approx. 20 m (66 ft) square skeletal tower with lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted red with a narrow white band around the lantern. A photo is at right, but the tower escapes notice in Google's satellite view of the island. Endangered. Located on an island in Velikaya Bay. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed.
Klimenitskiy
Date unknown. Inactive; focal plane 34 m (112 ft). 32 m (105 ft) square steel skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted red. One face of the tower carries a slatted daymark painted white with a black vertical stripe. Irina Potocka has a photo, V.A. Efremov has a distant view, and Google has an indistinct satellite view of the area. Endangered. Located on a small island off the southern tip of Ostrov Bolshoy Klimenitskiy. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS ERU-187.
Garnitskiy
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); flash every 4 s, white or red depending on direction. 16 m (52 ft) square steel skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted red. One face of the tower carries a slatted daymark painted white with a black vertical stripe. A nice view from the lake is available, Wikimedia has Svetlana Makarova's panoramic view, another photo is misidentified as being from Lake Ladoga, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. The lighthouse is a twin of the Ostrov Voroniy Light seen at right. Located on a small island in the northernmost part of the lake, off the west coast of Ostrov Bolshoy Klimenitskiy. Accessible only by boat, but there's a good view from tour boats bound for Kizhi. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS ERU-184.

Kondopozhsky District Lighthouses
Sosnovo Unitskiy
Date unknown. Active(?); focal plane 24 m (79 ft). 22 m (72 ft) square steel skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted red. No photo available, and the tower is not seen in Google's indistinct satellite view. This lighthouse is on an island in the Unitskiy Gulf in the northern part of the lake, near the abandoned village of Pegrema, which is famous for its 15th century chapel. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS ERU-204.
Ostrov Voroniy Light
Ostrov Voroniy Light, Medvezhyegorsky District, August 2006
Panoramio Creative Commons photo by Vladnes
Syar Nos (lantern)
Date unknown. Inactive. Round lantern, painted white, with a red dome. No photo available, and the small lantern is not seen in Google's satellite view of the area. Apparently the abandoned lighthouse was dismantled by thieves, who left the lantern on the beach. A 1982 photo of the lighthouse is available. Located on a promontory of the mainland north of the Berezovetskiy lighthouse. Site open.
Berezovetskiy
Date unknown. Inactive; focal plane 25 m (82 ft). 22 m (72 ft) square skeletal tower with lantern and gallery. The lower portion of the tower is pyramidal and upper portion is cylindrical. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Endangered. This tall lighthouse is located on Ostrov Berezovye, a small island near the northwestern corner of the lake, marking the entrance to the Kondopozhskaya fjord leading to Kondopoga. ARLHS ERU-180.

Prionezhsky District (Petrozavodsk Area) Lighthouses
Ostrov Monak
Date unknown. Inactive; focal plane 19 m (62 ft). 17 m (56 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower with gallery. A 2005 photo and a closeup (halfway down the page) are available, and Bing has a distant satellite view. Located on a small island about 15 km (9 mi) northeast of the Ivanovskiy lighthouse. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS ERU-194.
Ivanovskiy (Ivanono)
Date unknown. Active(?); focal plane 25 m (82 ft). 27 m (89 ft) square steel skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, lower portion pyramidal and upper portion cylindrical. No photo available, but Bing has an indistinct satellite view. This lighthouse marks the north side of the entrance to the bay of Petrozavodsk. Endangered. Located on a small island about 18 km (11 mi) east southeast of the Petrozavodsk waterfront. Accessible only by boat, but there are good views from hydrofoil tours leaving Petrozavodsk for the historic village of Kizhi. Site and tower closed. ARLHS ERU-185.
Shokshinskiy (Shoksha)
Date unknown. Inactive; focal plane 26 m (85 ft). 25 m (85 ft) octagonal skeletal tower with lantern and gallery. The upper half of the tower is surrounded by a slatted daymark. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Endangered. Located at the northern tip of an island at the entrance to the bay of Kvartsitnyy. Site status unknown. ARLHS ERU-202.
Brusno
Date unknown. Active(?); focal plane 23 m (85 ft). 22 m (72 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with lantern and gallery; the upper portion of the tower is enclosed. Lantern and upper portion of the tower painted white; the remainder of the tower is gray metal. Amateur radio operator RN1NU has provided a photo, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on the east side of an island off the west shore of the lake south of Petrozavodsk. Accessible only by boat. Site status and site manager unknown. ARLHS ERU-182.
Sukhonosskiy (Sukhoy Nos)
Active(?); focal plane 17 m (56 ft). 16 m (52 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery. The tower is covered with a slatted daymark painted white. A good 2008 photo is at right, a closeup photo is available, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on Sukhoy Nos ("Dry Point"), a cape about 7 km (4 mi) east of Sheltozero. ARLHS ERU-205.
Sukhonosskiy Light
Sukhonosskiy Light, Prionezhsky District, September 2006
Panoramio photo copyright phumala; used by permission

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

  • Hotel Mayak, in Vytegra downstream from Lake Onega, has what appears to be working lighthouse. It is on the Vytegra River. However, the Volga-Baltic Waterway bypasses this section of the river to pass through the Vytegra Lock, so the lighthouse has no navigational value.

Adjoining pages: North: Southern White Sea | South: Lake Ladoga

Return to the Lighthouse Directory index | Ratings key

Posted May 22, 2005. Checked and revised June 25, 2018. Lighthouses: 36. Site copyright 2018 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.