This site presents photos of lanterns taken in cities and towns we lived in or visited since 1970s.

Our fascination with lanterns began in St. Petersburg, Russia. Living in such a beautiful city it was hard not to become fascinated with Saint Petersburg's rich history, architecture, museums and landscapes. No wonder the city with its rivers, canals, hundreds of bridges and magnificent buildings was nicknamed "Venice of the North".

Exploring and taking photos of architectural details of St. Petersburg's buildings (like wrought iron fences) we started noticing that almost every bridge, great palace, or even many rental buildings of late XIX-beginning of XX centuries had distinctive and original set of exterior lanterns. Even though we continued to explore other aspects of history and architecture, we started taking photos almost exclusively of exterior lanterns and later of interior lanterns as well.

After we moved to Toronto (Canada) in 1992, it took us several years to settle and in the late 1990s we resumed our hobby. We retired in 2016, but only in 2018 decided to show our collection of photos, hoping that it might be of interest to some people. Otherwise it was just sitting in the computer memory collecting digital dust.

We did not include any history of street lighting or description of buildings and places where the photos were taken. A lot of information can be found on the internet. Wikipedia has some information on history of the street lighting. Below are links to a couple of articles on this topic:
HeiSolar Company: When Were Street lights invented
Some information in Russian: Забытое ремесло. Фонарщик

Thanks a lot for you interest in our collection.
If you wish to contact us, our email address is on the Contacts page.

Mark and Luda Vainchtein