Do not get lost in the desert, follow the lighthouse!

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Kazakhstan is a big country, everything is here: steppes, mountains, yurts, skyscrapers,camels,girls on "Hummers" and even purely marine monuments like lighthouses on the Caspian Sea.

Lighthouses appeared on the Caspian Sea, perhaps, even before it happened in recognized centers of seafaring and were originally associated with the cult of fire, which Zoroastrian worshiped. It is known that the temples(e.g. in Baku), where an eternal flame burned, remained on these shores up to the XX century,despite the fact that here were no conditions for the existence of heretical sects for many centuries in such tough Islamized region. How many sacred lighthouses wereglowing on the shores during theblessed times of Zarathustra, we can only assume.

St. Petersburg on Tyub-Karagan

However, both of Tyub-Karagan lighthouses have nothing to do with any cults, from the very beginning they were designed to serve a purely practical purpose - show the way for ships to the main harbor in this part of the Caspian Sea. It is not a coincidence that they appeared here when Russia activated policy in Central Asia, and Tyub-Karagan Bay became the most important trading and military harbor of the main outpost in this part of Caspian Sea, which was founded by Bekovich-Cherkasskiy in 1716 under the name of the fortress of St. Peter.

Alexander Bekovich-Cherkasskiy was contemporary and associate of the most famous Russian Tsar,Head of Caspian expedition; founding the fortress on the far and sultry shore of eastern Caspian Sea,he clearly had before his eyes the favorite work of his monarchical patron that was under construction on the mossy banks of the Gulf of Finland. Therefore, he did not puzzle over the name. Fortress of St. Peter it is nothing else than St. Petersburg, in terms of Russian. However, Bekovich’s"Peter" disappeared as well as the founder, who set out in search of the mythical gold that was hidden by malicious Asians of Uzboiand was chopped into small pieces in the capital of Khiva khan. But the city is not a person. It can be restored,what was done in 1846, when fortress Novopetrovskaya appeared at the same place, and a decade later renamed into Fort Alexander. And under this name it is known for massive fans of history, mainly because of the fact that Taras Shevchenko, great Ukrainian poet, served time here (later, the town receivedits last and present name - Fort Shevchenko).

Back then, two lighthouses appeared on the shores of the Tyub-Karaganbay.

Thick and thin

They are completely opposite to each other.

Upper lighthouse that was established in 1863 on the high shore of Tub- Karagan Cape, is the elegant candle, light of which can be seen for 30 - 40 kilometers away in the dark sea. However, most likely, it is not the first local lighthouse. Logically, the first one has to appear simultaneously with the foundation ofNovopetrovskaya fortress; there is a legend that it has fallen into the sea with part of the cliff whereit stood. Guardtablet at the entrance of the lighthouse,says "1851".

Unfortunately, as practice shows, the time does not take into consideration the official labels, closer you get to the building, more signs of destruction you will see: completely rusted lock from one side,a stone block fallen from the eaves out. Meanwhile, the Upper Tyub-Karagan lighthouse is not just a tower with a lantern; it is a complex of buildings, which includes the house for caretakers, stables, warehouse for kerosene (lamp used to be kerosene) and a well for water. All of this is surrounded by solid walls, so it is look like a small fortress.

And for a good reason, a secluded strategic object, in its long history, has repeatedly suffered from the attacks and assaults. It is known that the lighthouses were burned in April 1870 during the Adaevu prising on Mangyshlak. And in 1929, Upper lighthouse was attacked byBasmachi...

Lower lighthouse looks like a squat fortress tower and closes the panorama of the bay, showing the entrance. It is not immediately visible among the port buildings, warehouses and houses of Bautino. Lighthouse resembles a knight's castle inside - thick walls, historic staircases and round black stoves. Here, time is clearly flowing slower than outside - darkened wood, dusty filingsof Soviet newspapers, stands with the productionpace - makers, which are no longer exist. Here is a prepared place for the museum;it is unlikely that far more maritime empires,than Kazakhstan,are able to boast of such place!

Shine always?

Another famous lighthouse ofMangishlakis located in the center of Aktau - directly on the roof of a multistory building, which was built during the time when Shevchenko city appeared on the Caspian shores thanks to the efforts of the Soviet people. As soon as the sun is setting, itsnight deputy appears. Modern lamp starts genially wink at roadster ships,citizens sitting in the coastal restaurants and walking couples. This wink is sort of alocal sightseen andtwo generations of citizensgrewunder its rhythm already. Without it, the city is hard to imagine.

But for how long lighthouses of Mangishlakwouldtwinkle? In the age of satellite navigation and echo sounders this question is not rhetorical. And if in one miserable day lighthouses are not flame up at sunset, it might be a sign of a progress, but it will not make the sea cozier...

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