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The Annunciation (Blagoveshchenskaya) Tower

The Annunciation (Blagoveshchenskaya) Tower in Moscow Kremlin One of the seven towers which line the Moskva River, this gateless, four-sided tower stands 31 metres tall; 32.5 metres including its weathervane. At its base can be seen slabs of white limestone which have survived from the white-stone Kremlin of the 14th century. Inside the tower is a very deep dungeon, used as a prison during the reign of Ivan the Terrible. According to legend, the name of the tower comes from a miracle-working Icon of the Annunciation which was supposedly kept here at one time, and to which the needy came to pray. Later, in 1731, an Annunciation Church was built against the tower, although it was pulled down during the Soviet period.

In the 17th century, gates were built nearby in order that palace washer-women could go to the Portomoiny pontoon on the Moskva River to wash 'porty' (underclothes). The gates were bricked up in 1813 after the French invasion.

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