Place: Spit of Vasilyvsky Island On the map
Construction time: 1811
Designer: Jean-François Thomas de Thomon
Name: The columns are decorated with four pairs of bronze ship prows, so called “rostra”. The Romans were the first, who used the prows of conquered ships to decorate their monuments. Since then the rostra considered as symbol of naval victories.
Original purpose: In Imperial period the columns functioned as the lighthouses: oil was poured in the bowls, mounted on the top of the column. After sunset the oil lamps were lighted up to guide ships to the port. Nowadays you can see the fiery torches on the main holidays and city events.
Notable features: At the base of the columns the statues of two ladies and two elders are situated. Guides say that this is an allegory of main rivers of the European part of Russia: Neva, Volkhov, Volga and Dnieper. However, these statues remain fully self-consistent and are not compromised by these allegorical references.
Interesting facts: The Rostral column are represented by 50-ruble banknote with dubious image of the Neva River.