THE SECRET (TAINITSKAYA) TOWER

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The Secret (Tainitskaya) Tower in front

The central tower of the southern Kremlin’s wall. Built in 1485 by Anton Fryazin instead of the old white-stone Kremlin’s Chushkov Gate of the epoch of Dmitri Donskoy. In the end of the XVth century, after it was built, the construction of new fortifications was started in the Kremlin.

The Tainitskaya was the most important tower to protect the river side of the Kremlin. It had a cache-well and a secret underground passage that led towards the Moskva River. Besides, there was a side-strelnitsa, connected with the tower by a stone bridge, and a pass-gate. The strelnitsacould be entered with the help of the drawbridge.

In the XVIIth century, the tower had the fire-turret with a belfry and alarm-bells. A clock and chimes installed on the tower was removed in 1674. In 1670-1680, the tower was topped with a stone four-faceted marquee with a watch-place. The Tainitskaya Tower was dismantled in 1770-1771, when the construction of the Grand Kremlin Palace was underway, and restored without the side-strelnitsa in 1783. In 1812, it was damaged by a powerful blast and later reconstructed.

The Secret (Tainitskaya) TowerTurret of the Secret (Tainitskaya) TowerThe Secret (Tainitskaya) Tower

In 1862, a decorative strelnitsa in the XVIIth century Russian architectural style was attached to the tower. It was dismantled during the renovation of 1930-1933.

The height of the tower is 38,4 m.