About Kremlin Walls: Kremlin Walls

The Moscow Kremlin is shaped like a triangle surrounded by a strong wall with 20 towers. The length of the Kremlin Wall is 2.23 km, with the height of 5-19 meters in different places. The Moscow Kremlin has an area of 27 hectares.

The Kremlin walls of red brick were erected by four Italian craftsmen between 1485 and 1495. The walls are decorated by the swallow-tailed teeth after the fashion of the city walls of Verona.

Previously, the Kremlin walls were surrounded by water on all sides. On one side there was the broad Moscow river. On the side of today Red Square there was a wide moat with water, and along the Alexander Garden there flowed the river Neglinnaya. Now the moat is filled up and the river Neglinnaya is ducted.

Most towers of the Kremlin Wall have a square shape, and only five important towers has a round shape: Spasskaya (Saviour Tower), Nikolskaya, Corner Arsenalnaya Tower, Vodovzvodnaya and Beklemishevskaya. The Troitskaya Tower (Trinity Tower) is the tallest tower of the Kremlin Wall. Its height is 80 meters (1 meter lower than the Ivan the Great Bell Tower). The Troitskaya Tower is connected with a bridge to the small white Kutafya Tower, and it is by way of this tower that tourists enter the Kremlin.

Spasskaya Tower is the most beautiful tower of the Moscow Kremlin. It is in Red Square, near the Cathedral of St. Basil. As a matter of fact, it is the symbol of the Moscow Kremlin and, together with the Cathedral of St. Basil, it may be called the symbol of all Russia. The Spasskaya Tower has the Kremlin chimes – the famous clock timing the change of the guards, today at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and earlier at the Lenin's Mausoleum.

The Spasskaya Tower of the Kremlin Wall was built in 1480, and always was the main entrance into the Kremlin. The gate of the tower was called the Holy Gate, and for a long time the tower itself was named Frolovskaya after the nearby Church of Frol and Lavr. In 1658 the tsar Alexei Mikhailovich renamed it Spasskaya, after the Icon of Spas Nerukotvorny (The Saviour Not Made by Hands), placed above the gate on the inside wall.

In the reign of the tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, in the middle of the 17 century, two-headed eagles were installed on top of the four towers of the Kremlin Wall, Spasskaya, Nikolskaya, Troitskaya and Borovitskaya. In the Soviet time the eagles were replaced by the ruby stars.

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