Moscow, Russia – Volunteers participating in the Russian Geographical Society’s project are embarking on a remarkable endeavor to restore and preserve historic lighthouses. The first lighthouse to undergo this transformation is located in the Murmansk region, serving a vital role in ensuring the safe passage of ships in the White Sea for the past 45 years.
Known as the last remaining capital lighthouse in the former USSR, this unique concrete structure holds significant historical and navigational importance. Mika Petrov, an employee of the Russian Geographical Society, explains that while subsequent lighthouses were constructed using standard metal structures, this particular lighthouse stands as a testament to the past, with its wooden navigation sign evolving into a concrete marvel.
The lighthouses throughout the country fall under the jurisdiction of the Russian Ministry of Defense, making access to their premises a challenging feat without special permission. However, the joint effort between the Northern Fleet and the Volunteer Center has made the seemingly impossible possible. Volunteers have breathed new life into the ancient Pomeranian village of Kashkarantsy, which was once thriving due to its abundance of red fish, salmon, and seals. Today, the village remains relatively unknown, with only a handful of houses overlooking the vast expanse of the White Sea.
The arrival of the volunteers has revitalized Kashkarantsy, creating a vibrant atmosphere rarely experienced in recent years. Fifty dedicated volunteers have set up a tent camp along the coast, working tirelessly to restore the lighthouse to its former glory. With their collective efforts, the lighthouse will soon shine brightly with fresh red and white colors, as promised by experienced climber Alexei Selegenenko. While this project marks his first time working on such an object, Selegenenko exudes confidence and describes the endeavor as a courageous and special undertaking.
As the restoration nears completion, the volunteers are already contemplating their next project. The lighthouse “Kildin-Northern” on the island of Kildin in the Barents Sea has caught their attention, potentially becoming the next historic site to undergo transformation and preservation.
It is worth noting that in April of this year, the Russian Geographical Society’s “Remember the War” expedition led to the remarkable retrieval of an Air Cobra aircraft from the depths of the Kola Bay. Submariners from the Northern Fleet successfully raised fragments of the Great Patriotic War fighter, further exemplifying the commitment to honoring and commemorating the nation’s wartime heritage.
The restoration efforts of the Russian Geographical Society’s volunteers not only revive iconic landmarks but also ensure the preservation of maritime history for future generations. Through their dedication and expertise, these individuals are safeguarding cultural treasures and paying homage to the significance of lighthouses in maritime navigation. Their collective endeavors stand as a testament to the power of community engagement and the value of preserving heritage in the face of time’s relentless march.