Spasskaya Tower

Spasskaya (Savior) Tower, formerly Frolovskaya (located near the church of Frol and Lavr), was built in 1491 by the architect Pietro Antonio Solari. The tower’s name origin is rather interesting. Since it was erected over the main gate that gad existed since the days of white stone Moscow and considered holy, the tower itself, from the time of its erection was considered the central one in the complex of the Kremlin wall. It was treated with special reverence by the people – no one dared to go through the gate of the Spasskaya Tower on horseback; the men had to take off their hats. Therefore, the two icons, the Savior of Smolensk and the Image of Edessa, were placed above the gate. By his decree of April 16, 1658 the Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich ordered to name it the Spasskaya (Savior). Despite the fact that in the Spasskaya Tower has 10 levels, it consists of five tiers. In the corners of the main square tier are the pyramids with gilt weathervanes. The facades of the tower are decorated with white stone decor, consisting of carved columns, turrets, and figures of fantasy animals. But the main feature of the Spasskaya Tower is the Kremlin chimes - the main clock of the country.

In 1491 the main clock of Russian state were installed on top of the newly constructed tower. In 1625 the tower received the new clock. In the 18th century they were replaced by huge Dutch chiming clock. The current chimes were installed in 1851-1852. They occupy three levels of the tower (7-9). The total weight of the mechanism is about 25 tons. The clock has four dials, the diameter of each is 6.12 m; the length of the hour hand is about 3 meters, the minute – 3.28 meters. Digits height - 72 centimeters. The 10th floor of the belfry is occupied by the bells cast in the 17th – 18th centuries by Russian and foreign masters. The height of the tower without the ruby star amounts to 67.3 meters, with the star - 71 meters. The Spasskaya tower is considered the most beautiful and graceful tower of the Kremlin.