Ivan the Great Bell Tower

Moscow, Russia

On the eastern side of Cathedral Square stands the magnificent Ivan the Great Belltower, which, at a height of 81 metres, was the tallest building in all Russia for almost 400 years. It was the work of an Italian, Marco Bono, who was ordered by Ivan the Great to design a belltower for the Archangel, Assumption and Annunciation Cathedrals next to the 1329 Church of St. John Climacus-under-the Bells.

Between 1532 and 1543, architect Petrok Maliy built the four-storey Assumption Belfry, which stands next to the tower and houses the 64-ton Resurrection Bell, cast in the 19th Century. In 1624, the tent-roofed Filaret Tower was added.

In 1812, Napoleon's soldiers tore down many of the buildings of the Kremlin, and attempted to blow up the bell tower. Thankfully they failed, although the belfry and the Filaret Tower were badly damaged. They were restored in 1819 by the architect D.I. Gilardi.

There are 21 bells in the tower and belfry, of which the Assumption Bell, located in the central arch of the belfry, is the largest at 70 tons. It was always the first bell to ring on church holidays, a signal that started all the other church bells in Moscow. In 1918 the last Easter service in the Kremlin took place, and the bells of Ivan the Great did not ring again until 1992.

Wide scale restoration work was carried out in the 1950s, and an exhibition hall was created on the ground floor, which is still used for various temporary exhibitions.

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Founded: 1505-1508
Category: Miscellaneous historic sites in Russia

Rating

4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Ive Komiss (3 years ago)
The Ivan the Great Bell Tower is a church tower inside the Moscow Kremlin complex. With a total height of 81 meters, it is the tallest tower and structure of the Kremlin. It was built in 1508 on Cathedral Square for the three Russian Orthodox cathedrals, namely the Assumption, the Archangel and the Annunciation, which do not have their own belfries. It serves as a part of Moscow Kremlin Museums.
Walker (3 years ago)
I recommend coming here on weekends for when they throw political rivals and witches to their deaths, it's not for everyone and I only give 4 stars because I stood in the splash zone, there should be signs people!!
Nicholas Stathos (4 years ago)
I stopped here to use the bathroom and the door wouldnt open. Writing this from inside. 1 star
Vasilis Kos. (4 years ago)
One of the impressive and beautiful sites in the Kremlin.
A full time traveller (5 years ago)
Online booking is needed in advance. Worth visiting! Make sure you get there on time otherwise the gate will be locked.
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