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Kremlin Walls and Towers

The existing walls and towers of the Kremlin were erected during the reign of Grand Duke Ivan III, from 1485-1495, under the supervision of the Italian architects Antonio Gilardi, Marco Ruffo, Pietro Antonio Solari, and Aliosio de Carcano, who came to Moscow to work on the project by special invitation.

The towering red-brick Kremlin walls, following the contours of the Kremlin hill as they have done for over 5 centuries, form an irregular triangle, with its southern flank against the Moskva River, its western wall rising high above the Alexandrovsky Gardens, and its north-eastern side following the edge of Red Square. The walls are a total of 2,205 metres long, between 3.5 and 6.5 metres thick, range from 5 to 19 metres in height, and are topped by swallow-tailed crenellations. Punctuating the walls are no less than 20 separate defensive towers of varying heights and shapes, topped with green tent roofs and gilt weathervanes or red stars. Each tower has its own name, distinctive features, and absorbing history. Running along the top of the walls is a walkway up to 4 meters in width. In this way, walking from one tower to the next, it is possible to complete a circuit of the citadel's perimeter, and get a closer look at the mighty towers that have protected Moscow's heart since medieval times.

The Saviours Tower in Moscow Kremlin Saviour's Tower
The main entrance to the Kremlin, famous for its historic chiming clock.  ›››

The Tsars Tower in Moscow Kremlin Tsar's Tower
The smallest and youngest of the Kremlin towers is named after Ivan the Terrible. ›››

The Alarm Tower in Moscow Kremlin Alarm Tower
This 15th Century watchtower once housed a famous bell that was 'punished' by Catherine the Great. ›››

The Konstantion-Yeleninskaya Tower in Moscow Kremlin Konstantion-Yeleninskaya Tower
An entrance tower to the Moscow Kremlin which once housed a torture chamber.  ›››

The Beklemishevskaya Tower in Moscow Kremlin Beklemishevskaya Tower
This tower was at the very centre of the Kremlin's defences. ›››

Peters Tower in Moscow Kremlin Peter's Tower
This Kremlin defensive tower has twice been destroyed and restored. ›››

The Nameless Towers in Moscow Kremlin Nameless Towers
Two towers that never managed to pick up a nickname.  ›››

The Secret Tower in Moscow Kremlin Secret Tower
A secret escape route from the Kremlin was hidden in the structure of this tower. ›››

The Annunciation Tower in Moscow Kremlin Annunciation Tower
This tower shows traces of the white walls of the original medieval Kremlin.  ›››

The Water Pump Tower in Moscow Kremlin Water Pump Tower
By means of an ingenious pump system, this tower fed the Kremlin with water from the River Moskva. ›››

The Borovitskaya Tower in Moscow Kremlin Borovitskaya Tower
This was once the backdoor to the Kremlin. ›››

The Armoury Tower in Moscow Kremlin Armoury Tower
This tower once stood beside the Tsar's stables. ›››

The Commandants Tower in Moscow Kremlin Commandant's Tower
This tower owes its name to the proximity of the Poteshniy Palace, residence of the Kremlin Commandant. ›››

The Trinity Tower in Moscow Kremlin Trinity Tower
The tallest of the 20 towers that surround the Kremlin. ›››

The Kutafya Tower in Moscow Kremlin Kutafya Tower
A squat tower built to defend the bridges of the Kremlin. ›››

The Middle Arsenal Tower in Moscow Kremlin Middle Arsenal Tower
A popular grotto lies at the foot of the outer wall. ›››

The Corner Arsenal Tower in Moscow Kremlin Corner Arsenal Tower
This monumental tower has walls over 4 meters thick. ›››

The St. Nicholas Tower in Moscow Kremlin St. Nicholas Tower
A traditional place for settling disputes. ›››

The Senate Tower in Moscow Kremlin Senate Tower
A tower that waited 300 years for a name.  ›››
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