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Cape Vyatlina, one of the most picturesque places in the Russian Far East, has come to be known as the Russian Stonehenge in recent years, after people started building stone towers on its rocky beach. Today, there are hundreds of them, and new ones are erected almost every day.
The tradition of building towers at Cape Vyatlina by stacking stones of various sizes on top of each other started in 2015, when a group of activists from Vladivostok built 155 such monuments in celebration of the city’s 155th anniversary. Many of these original towers, some up to 3.5-meters-tall, were destroyed by the collapse of a nearby grotto, but other locals and tourists took it upon themselves to restore them and even add to their number. Today, there are several hundreds of these hand-stacked stone towers covering the beach at Cape Vyatlina and building them has become somewhat of a superstition.
Photo © Kisenia Antolievna/Instagram
It’s said that building a stone tower at Cape Vyatlina can make your greatest wish come true, so it’s no surprise that stacking stones has become a tradition among visitors to this remote place. For others, the practice is almost meditative in nature, as erecting these structures requires lots of patience and concentration. Whatever the motivation behind each builder’s actions, there’s no denying that the towers make quite a sight.
Denis Gorbunov, organizer of the project ‘Stone Towers of the City by the Sea‘, the event that kickstarted the stone tower tradition at Cape Vyatlina in 2015, recently told Russian website Vestiprim how happy he was that his simple idea turned into something so beautiful.
“My friend Artem Tarasov gathered his friends and they went there every day,” Gorbunov said. “And they built a new tower every day. They built three large towers on the left Bank. They built three of the tallest towers on the left bank – probably 3 – 3.5 meters – and then people started visiting them, taking photos and building their own towers. Then we started seeing posts and photos of the ‘stone towers’ on social media. And somehow everything has grown to today’s level. It is very nice that a simple idea turned into such a beautiful project.”