- TOWERS OF THE KREMLIN
- TAINITSKAYA TOWER
- BEKLEMISHEVSKAYA TOWER
- BLAGOVESCHENSKAYA TOWER
- VTORAYA BEZYMYZNNAYA TOWER
- PETROVSKAYA TOWER
- PERVAYA BEZYMYANNAYA TOWER
- VODOVZVODNAYA TOWER
- KONSTANTINO-ELENINSKAYA TOWER
- BOROVITSKAYA TOWER
- SPASSKAYA TOWER
- NIKOLSKAYA TOWER
- SENATSKAYA TOWER
- UGLOVAYA ARSENALNAYA TOWER
- SREDNYAYA ARSENALNAYA TOWER
- ORUZHEINAYA TOWER
- KOMENDANTSKAYA TOWER
- NABATNAYA TOWER
- TROITSKAYA TOWER
- KUTAFIYA TOWER
- TSARSKAYA TOWER
- BUILDINGS IN THE KREMLIN
- KREMLIN SQUARES
- NON-EXTANT ARCHITECTURAL MONUMENTS
The Spasskaya (meaning Saviour's) Tower was erected in 1491 by architect Pietro Antonio Solari. Its construction marked the beginning of the development of the eastern line of the Kremlin fortifications. The tower is located on the site of Frolovskaya Strelnitsa of 1367-1368. Its gates, facing Red Square, have always been the main ceremonial entrance to the Kremlin. They were particularly revered by the people and considered holy. The gates served for departures of the tsar, solemn passages of the patriarch, meeting foreign ambassadors.
The tower has a tetrahedral form and a powerful diverted fighting platform adjoined closely to it and used for protecting the gate entrance. It was closed by a vertical sliding iron grille - herse. If the enemy penetrated the fighting platform, the herses were lowered, and the enemy got locked in a kind of stone trap. The enemy was shot at from the upper gallery of the fighting platform. Even today, the façade of the tower preserves apertures through which chains were passed to raise and lower an especial wooden flooring of the bridge, and grooves in the gate passage through which the metal grille went. Elevating bridges were lowered from the gate of the fighting platform.
Above the gate of the diverted fighting platform and the gates of the Spasskaya Tower from the Kremlin territory, there are inscriptions in Russian and Latin on white-stone boards telling about the time of its construction: "In the summer of 6999 (1491 year - ed.), in July, this tower was made by the grace of God by order of Ivan Vasilievich, Sovereign and Autocrat of all Russia and Grand Prince of Vladimir and Moscow and Novgorod and Pskov and Tver and Ugra and Vyatka and Perm and Bulgaria and others in 30 years of his state, and was made by Peter Antony Solario from Mediolan' (Milan - ed.)".
Originally the tower was called Frolovskaya because of the Church of Sts Frol and Laurus situated close to it in the Kremlin. In 1516 a wooden bridge was thrown across the moat from the tower. At the end of the 16th century, the building had a hipped roof and a double-headed eagle on top. By the decree of Tsar Alexey Mikhailovich dated 16 April 1658, the tower was called Spasskaya. The new name was connected with the icon of Christ of Edessa placed over the gates from the side of Red Square. The icon itself has not survived, but the place where it hung is clearly seen.
In 1624-1625 the Russian architect Bazhen Ogurtsov and the English master Christopher Galloway erected a multi-tiered top above the tower, finishing with a stone marquee. It was the first hipped roof among the Kremlin towers. The lower part of the building was decorated with a white-stone chiselled arched belt, turrets, and pyramids. There appeared fantastic figures whose nudity was bashfully covered with specially sewn clothes by order of Tsar Mikhail Fyodorovich. The tower was rightly considered the most beautiful and harmonious tower of the Kremlin. Unfortunately, when it was under reconstruction, the white-stone reliefs by V. Yermolin, made for the Frolovskye Gate in the time of Dmitry Donskoy, were removed from its façades. They depicted the patrons of the Moscow princes - St George the Victorious and St Dmitry Solunsky. (A fragment of the relief of St George is stored today in the Tretyakov Gallery).
In the 17th century, a stone arch bridge was thrown across the moat to the Spasskaya Tower gates, on which a lively trade took place. In the 1650s, the hipped roof of the main tower of the Kremlin was topped with the coat of arms of the Russian state — a two-headed eagle. Later, similar coats of arms were placed on the highest towers - Nikolskaya, Trotskaya and Borovitskaya.
The first clock on the Spasskaya Tower was installed according to the design of Christopher Galloway. In 1707 the Dutch chimes with music replaced them. In 1763 the clock was replaced again, and in 1851 those chimes underwent total repair by brothers N.N. and I.N. Butenop. In 1920, during the reconstruction of the Spasskaya Tower, the musician M.M. Cheremnykh and the mechanic N.V. Behrens, having repaired the clock, picked out a tune of the International on the chimes.
The star on the Spasskaya Tower was first installed in 1935. A new one with a wingspan of 3.75 metres was placed there in 1937. A lamp with a power of 5000 watts burns 24 hours a day inside the star. The star rotates in the wind like a weather vane.
The Spasskaya Tower has ten floors.
Its height until the star is 67.3 metres, with the star - 71 meters.