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The Alarm (Nabatnaya) Tower

The Alarm (Nabatnaya) Tower in Moscow Kremlin Gateless, the Nabatnaya Tower was constructed in 1495, and originally served as a watch-tower overlooking the Serpukhov and Kaluga roads to the south. A watch was kept day and night, and if enemy detachments were spotted approaching, a great bell would be rung to sound the alarm so that villagers could seek refuge inside the fortress.

During the Plague Riot of 1771, rebelling Muscovites used the bell to summon the people to the Kremlin and incite the mob. After the revolt had been crushed, Empress Catherine the Great commanded that the 'rabble-rousing bell' be punished by having its chime ripped out. The tongueless bell hung mute in the tower for over 30 years until, in 1803, it was finally taken down. Since 1851, it has been kept in the collections of the Armoury.

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