Kutafiya Tower, perspectiveThe Kutafiya (Shelter) Tower is the only preserved Kremlin barbican that served to protect the bridge leading to the fortress. It was built under the direction of the Milanese architect Alevisio Friazin in 1516. A small tower, surrounded by a moat and a river, with a single gate that was tightly closed in moments of danger, was a formidable barrier to those besieging the fortress.

The construction was uncovered, had two fighting platforms, and had machicolations on the upper one. It was decorated with an openwork decorative top in 1685. Lifting bridges over the moat, with which the tower was surrounded, led to its side gates. To this day, you can still see the slots for the chains of lifting devices by the side gate.

The tower owes its name, presumably, to the word 'kut', which means shelter, corner or peninsula.

Kutafiya Tower, main viewWatercolour by F. Alexeev, early 1800sKutafiya Tower, perspective