Lighthouse Database » Europe » Russia
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Date Established: 1811
Date Present Tower Built: 1811
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Open to Public?: Grounds only, located on a public square in Saint Petersburg
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DescriptionThe Rostral Columns are located in front of the old stock exchange in Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation. The stock exchange was constructed between 1805-1810; the Rostral Columns were completed in 1811. The stock exchange is located on Vasilievsky Island opposite from the Winter Palace and the Hermitage. The columns are brick coated with deep red terra cotta stucco and decorated with bronze anchors and four bronze ships prows, one for each of the four major rivers of Russia - the Volga, Dnieper, Neva, and Volkhov. The columns were originally intended to serve as beacons to mark the island in the river. The were originally topped by oil burners in the form of Greek braziers. Those were replaced and have been refitted with gas torches that are lighted on ceremonial occasions. I've seen them lighted once when I was in Saint Petersburg stuck in a taxi for over an hour waiting for Bush's motorcade to cross through an intersection in front of us. Unfortunately, the meter was running and my camera was back at the hotel...