BEKLEMISHEVSKAYA TOWER

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The Beklemishevskaya (literally 'Beklemishev's') tower stands in the southeast corner of the Kremlin triangle. It was built in 1487-1488 by the Italian architect Marco Fryazin. Received its name from the court of the boyar Beklemishev, which adjoined it in the Kremlin territory. Under Vassily III, this courtyard together with the tower was turned into a prison for disgraced boyars. It is also called Moskvoretskaya, due to the Moskvoretsky Bridge located nearby.

The tower played a significant role in defending the Kremlin. It was the first to receive an attack because it was situated on the junction of the Moskva River with the moat. That may explain its architectural solution: a tall and slender cylinder is placed on a bevelled white-stone pedestal and is separated from it by a half-round fillet. A smooth surface of the cylinder is cut by narrow, widely-spaced windows. The tower is topped with machicolations with a fighting platform, which is higher than the walls adjoining it. The basement of the structure had a listening hiding place to prevent undermining.

In 1680 the tower was crowned with the eight-cornered construction with a high narrow hipped roof bearing two rows of dormers that decorated it and softened its sternness. In 1707, when expecting a possible attack of the Swedes, bastions were installed at the foot of the tower, and loopholes were widened for installing more powerful guns by order of Peter the Great.

After the invasion of Napoleon, the tower got repaired. In 1917 its top was damaged during a bombardment, but it was restored by 1920. During the conservation in 1949, the loopholes revived their original form. The tower is one of the few Kremlin towers that have not been seriously reconstructed.

The core cylindrical volume of the tower consists of three tiers of round, arched rooms, passing into the hipped roof, which is opened into the whole depth.

The height of the tower is 46.2 metres.

Beklemishevskaya Tower. Main viewBeklemishevskaya Tower. PerspectiveBeklemishevskaya Tower. PerspectiveBeklemishevskaya Tower. Perspective