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In the past, these columns were lighthouses. Today, they are only lit up once a year on 31 July. An amazing sight to see!

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The Rostral Columns

60 metres of maritime glory.

Found on Vasilyevsky Island, right on the water's edge, these two columns are a monument to Russia's naval glory. They were built in 1810 and designed by the architect Thomas de Thomon. Standing 60 meters tall, these red columns are decorated with ship prows celebrating various naval victories and with stone figures symbolising the four main rivers in Russia: Voljov, Dneper, Volga and Neva. In the past, these columns were used as lighthouses, but nowadays they are only lit up as part of the Navy Day celebrations on 31 July. Keep an eye out for the tradition of newlywed couples opening a bottle of cava at the columns, taking a sip and then throwing their glasses against the stone.



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