Tsarskaya Tower, Moscow

Tsarskaya Tower in Moscow may be the youngest and smallest of the Kremlin towers, yet this fanciful configuration is also one of the most unusual.

Built in 1680 on the Moscow Kremlin Wall, it reaches a height of only 17 meters. Its ornate green conical structure resembles a stone tent perched atop distinctive jug-shaped pillars. The edifice is accentuated by four corner turrets with decorative pediments and gilded flags. Each turret is decorated with white stone belts, and the tower sides adorned with traditional kokoshnik headdresses. The tent is crowned with a weathervane depicting gold-plated birds.

The two-tiered Tsar’s Tower includes an arched passageway at its base and a second level open on all four sides. Although the tower has never served a defensive function, it was installed with an alarm which could alert Moscow’s citizens in the event of a fire.

Legend has it that in wartime Tsar Ivan IV the Terrible would survey the area from a wooden platform where Tsarskaya Tower now stands. Still others claim that during the coronation of the last Emperor of Russia, Nicholas II, spectators were amazed by the natural lighting which flooded the ceremony and Tsarskaya Tower with an unrivaled beauty.

Thanks to restoration work which was carried out on the Kremlin throughout the 20th century and as late as 2017, Tsarskaya Tower in Moscow remains in superb condition. Particularly since the artificial lighting for the Kremlin towers was revamped, when illuminated at night Tsarskaya Tower never fails to delight and impress its visitors.