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The Secret (Tainitskaya) Tower

The Secret (Tainitskaya) Tower in Moscow Kremlin The oldest of all the Kremlin's towers, its name is derived from the Russian word 'taina', meaning 'secret', owing to the well and secret tunnel which were dug beneath the tower during its construction in 1485. In the event of siege, the tunnel provided a secret exit from the citadel to the Moskva River. During the 16th century this tower was used to observe the land beyond the river, and it also possessed a bell which functioned as an alarm if a fire broke out. In the late 17th century, it acquired a tent roof. The Tainitskaya Tower has been reconstructed several times in its lifetime, and like many others in the Kremlin, it was badly damaged by explosions during the retreat of Napoleon's troops from Moscow in 1812, necessitating further repairs. In the 1930s its gateway was blocked up and the well and passageway filled in.

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