UGLOVAYA ARSENALNAYA TOWER

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The Uglovaya Arsenalnaya (Corner Arsenal) Tower, being the most strong corner tower of the Kremlin, completed the defence line from the side of Red Square. It guarded the crossing of the Neglinnaya River to the trading place.

It was erected in 1492 by Pietro Antonio Solari. There used to be the mansion of the boyars Sobakins not far from the tower in the Kremlin, which may be the reason for its ancient name. The tower has a broad round base and mighty walls. It had not only defensive functions in the past. It has a spring-well to this day, which the garrison could use in case of siege.

The tower got its present name after the Arsenal was built at the beginning of the 18th century. In 1707, when preparing the Kremlin for defence against the Swedes, Peter the Great ordered the old loopholes to be enlarged to install new cannons. It was partially damaged in the Patriotic War of 1812 because of the explosion of the Nikolskaya Tower and the Arsenal. In 1816-1819 it was restored under the supervision of architect O.I. Bove. The tower was renovated and adapted for the Moscow Provincial Archive in 1894; at the same time, the interior was remodelled.

The tower is octagonal inside, covered with cloistered vaults. The deep basement, which can be reached by a wall staircase, hides a well.

The height of the tower from the side of the Alexander Garden (Aleksandrovsky Sad) - 60,2 metres.

Uglovaya Arsenalnaya Tower, main viewWatercolour by F. Alexeev, the beginning of the 1800sUglovaya Arsenalnaya Tower, perspective