Lena Pillars

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UNESCO World Heritage Site
Lena Pillars Nature Park
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
The pillars seen from a river cruise boat.
Type Natural
Criteria viii
Reference 1299
UNESCO region Europe
Inscription history
Inscription 2012 (36th Session)

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Lena Pillars (Russian: Ле́нские столбы́, tr. Lenskiye Stolby; Yakut: Өлүөнэ туруук хайалара, Ölüöne Turūk Khayalara) is the name given to a natural rock formation along the banks of the Lena River in far eastern Siberia. The pillars are 150–300 metres (490–980 ft) high, and were formed in some of the Cambrian period sea-basins. The Lena Pillars Nature Park was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2012.[1]

The site lies less than a day's boat ride upriver (south) from the city of Yakutsk, the capital of the autonomous Sakha Republic.[2]


A view of the lone maiden in the far right.

One may plan a river cruise by contacting a travel service in the city of Yakutsk. Those interested in limnology or ecotourism, and others who visit Lake Baikal, can coordinate a river sojourn with the aid of a guide from the Lake Baikal region; however, consider that Yakutsk, the world's coldest city and where the river cruises originate, is approximately 900 miles (1,400 km) northeast of Lake Baikal.

Few modern amenities exist in this part of the world (Siberia), unless one travels by cruise ship on the Lena River.

Hiking trails in the region are steep and at times precarious.


The pillars consist of alternating layers of limestone, marlstones, dolomite and slate of early to middle Cambrian age, which are weathered, producing the rugged outcrops. [3]

These types of rocks are commonly formed in marine environments and the horizontal layering and vertical variation indicates marine transgression/regression; with the slate representing the deep marine, slightly metamorphosed shales.