TOWERS OF THE KREMLIN

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 Towers and walls of the Moscow Kremlin at night

The existing walls and towers of the Kremlin were erected in 1485-1516. They replaced the white-stone fortifications of the time of Dmitry Donskoy and embodied the previous experience of both Russian and Italian fortification designers. The construction of the Kremlin walls and towers was headed by Anton Fryazin, Marco Fryazin, Pietro Antonio Solari, and Aleviz Fryazin.

Tainitskaya tower was laid first, in 1485, and by 1490 the southern part of the fortress was completely built. The same year, new walls began to be built on the ground side of the Kremlin, followed by towers and curtain walls along the Neglinnaya River. In 1516 a moat was dug along the walls, which faced Red Square. Additional walls with merlons were erected along the edges of the moat and the Moskva River. At the same time the Troitsky Bridge over the Neglinnaya River with a pre-bridge fortification—Kutafya Tower—was built.

Tainitskaya Tower  Kutafiya and Troitskaya Towers  Spasskaya Tower

New walls and towers of the Kremlin covered an area of 27.5 hectares, their length reached 2,235 metres. The walls' height varies from 8 to 19 metres, thickness—from 3.5 to 6.5 metres. The highest walls were erected on the side of Red Square—there was no natural water barrier. There are 20 towers in total in the fortress; Kutafya Tower is located in front of the bridge, and Tsarskaya Tower—right on the wall. In the 17th century, the towers of the Kremlin were built up with beautiful hipped roofs.

Today the Moscow Kremlin is a unique fortification monument of the late 15th - early 16th centuries. Each tower of the Kremlin has its unique appearance, its history of construction and life.

This section contains information about the history and architectural appearance of each tower of the Moscow Kremlin. The towers are arranged in chronological order of their construction.

  

Chronology of the Moscow Kremlin towers construction

1485 Tainitskaya (Secret) Tower

1487-1488 Beklemishevskaya (Beklemishev’s) Tower

1487-1488 Blagoveschenskaya (Annunciation) Tower

1487-1488 Vtoraya Bezymyznnaya (2nd Nameless) Tower

1480s Petrovskaya (Peter’s) Tower

1480s Pervaya Bezymyannaya (1st Nameless) Tower

1488 Vodovzvodnaya (Water Supplying) Tower

1490 Konstantino-Eleninskaya (Sts Constantine and Helen’s) Tower

1490 Borovitskaya (Hill) Tower

1491 Spasskaya (Saviour’s) Tower 

1491 Nikolskaya (St. Nicholas’s) Tower

1491 Senatskaya (Senate’s) Tower

1492 Uglovaya Arsenalnaya (Corner Arsenal) Tower

1493-1495 Srednyaya Arsenalnaya (Middle Arsenal) Tower

1493-1495 Oruzheinaya (Armoury) Tower

1493-1495 Komendantskaya (Сommandant) Tower

1495 Nabatnaya (Watch Bell) Tower

1495-1499 Troitskaya (Trinity) Tower

1516 Kutafiya Tower

1680 Tsarskaya (Tsar's) Tower