KONSTANTINO-ELENINSKAYA TOWER

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The Konstantino-Eleninskaya (meaning 'Konstantin and Helen') Tower was erected by Pietro Antonio Solari in 1490 on the site of Timofeev Gate of a white-stone Kremlin in 1366-1368. The tower got its name from the nearby Kremlin Church of Sts Constantine and Helen. At first, it served as a gate tower and traditionally protected the ancient roads connecting the Kremlin with Veliky Posad (Kitay-Gorod)—the approaches from the wharf—from Velikaya and Var'skaya streets. Situated close to the river, the tower had a powerful diverted fighting platform, which was connected with it by the bridge across the moat. The fighting platform was accessible through the lifting bridge.

In the 1670s and 1680s, a well-proportioned hipped roof was built on an arched tetragonal base over the broad quadrangle with machicolations and parapet. The lower part of a marquee’s complex outline is cut through with dormers.

At the end of the 17th century, when Velikaya Street faded its former importance, the tower lost its defensive role, and its fighting platform was turned into a torture chamber. The tower gates were closed.

In 1707 Peter the Great ordered to widen the loop-holes in the Konstantino-Eleninskaya Tower for installing cannons. In the 18th and at the beginning of the 19th century, the bridge and the diverted fighting platform were dismantled, and the gate was founded.

The gate part of the tower from the inside, covered with a cylindrical vault, is half-backfilled. Above the vast vaulted room of the second tier there raises the upper quadrangle, opened into the cavity of a hipped roof that is divided into tiers by simple flat-slab decks. The inside-wall stairway, which begins with an aperture from the inside of the Kremlin, leads to the fighting platform.

The height of the tower is 36,8 metres.

Konstantino-Eleninskaya Tower. Main viewKonstantino-Eleninskaya Tower. PerspectiveKonstantino-Eleninskaya and Spasskaya (Saviour's) towers