Yenikalsky Lighthouse

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Yenikalsky Lighthouse
Kerch Mayak.jpg
Yenikalsky Lighthouse
Yenikalsky Lighthouse is located in Europe
Yenikalsky Lighthouse
Location Kerch (Crimea, Russia)
Coordinates 45°23′8.10″N 36°38′18.30″E / 45.3855833°N 36.6384167°E / 45.3855833; 36.6384167Coordinates: 45°23′8.10″N 36°38′18.30″E / 45.3855833°N 36.6384167°E / 45.3855833; 36.6384167
Year first constructed 1820 (original tower, destroyed in World War II)
1953 (current tower)
Construction Stone

The Yenikalsky Lighthouse (Russian: Еникальский маяк, Yenikal'sky mayak) — is an active lighthouse on Cape Fonar of eastern Crimea on the shore of Kerch Strait. Navigation cressets on this coast were first mentioned in the Periplus of Scylax, dated 350 BC.


Cape Fonar

In 1820 a lighthouse tower was built on the top of Cape Fonar to guide ships navigating from the Sea of Azov to Kerch Strait. The lighthouse was named Yenikal'sky after Yeni-Kale fortress located in this area. Oil lamps were used as a light source. In 1861 Fresnel lens with kerosene lamps were installed.[1]

Until the Second World War the Yenikalsky Lighthouse was considered as the oldest lighthouse in Crimea. In 1941, during the Great Patriotic War, the lighthouse equipment was evacuated to Taman coast by light-house keeper Mikhail Egorov. In May 1942 a battle between retreating Red Army and Nazi Germany took place in Cape Fonar area. Alexander Philimonov, a Soviet mariner, aimed the fire of Russian batteries. When German tanks appeared near the lighthouse, a flag was risen on the tower targeting the Soviet fire from the Chushka Spit. The tower got destroyed in this battle and hydrographers besieged in the lighthouse died. In 1943 a temporary light was installed on lighthouse ruins. When Kerch was liberated from German troops in April 1944, the lighthouse equipment was returned.[2]

After the war a provisional wooden tower was constructed in 1946. It was replaced with an electric-powered lighthouse with a modern stone tower in 1953. EMV-3 optical system was installed on the Yenikalsky Lighthouse in 1957. The lighthouse was equipped with a modern GLONASS-GPS system in 2002.[3]