Ivan the Great Bell Tower

Ivan the Great Bell Tower. View from the Ivanovskaya SquareView form the Cathedral SquareThe Ivan the Great Bell Tower is the tallest structure in the Kremlin (81 m or266 ft). It was built in 1505-08. From the top of the tower - which wasincreased in height by Boris Godunov in 1600, making it the tallest towerin Russia at that time - the view extends for some 40 km (25 miles), soit was a strategic watch tower. There are 329 steps to the top. The firsttier of the Bell-Tower housed the ancient Church of St.John Climacus. In1532-43, the master builder Petrok Maly added a belfry to the Bell Tower;in the 17th century, the so-called Filaret Annex was added to the tower'snorthern side. The Bell Tower and belfry still carry 21 bells which areremarkable creations of Russian foundry art. When Napoleon'sarmy retreated from Moscow in 1812 the belfry and annex were blown up.The belfry and annex were restored in 1819, designed by the architect DomenicoGilardi.

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