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The Nikolskaya tower

The Kremlin Wall
3.2
This is quadrangular tower with with a through-passage on the eastern side of the Kremlin wall, built in 1491 by Pietro Antonio Solari. It has a side-strelnitsa facing Red Square.
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The name of the tower is associated with the icon of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, located on the facade of the strelnik, and with the Nikolsky Greek monastery, which was once on Nikolskaya street. 

The tower had a drawbridge across the moat on Red Square. Its gate was protected by an iron grate-guersy. 

In XVI-XVIIth centuries the Nikolskaya Tower's gateserved mainly for the entrance to the boyars' estates and the Kremlin's monasteries. The Nikolskaya Tower had preserved its original look much longer than others. In 1780 it was first overbuilt with a short stone marquee. In 1806 an eight-faceted Gothic style top and a high marquee was erected on the tower under the supervision of architect L. Roosk. 

The tower was blown up when the French invaders were leaving Moscow in 1812. It was rebuilt acording to the project of architect Ossip Bove in 1816-1819. Up to 1935 the Nikolskaya Tower was crowned by the double-headed eagle. Later, a white stone marquee was replaced by the iron frame. In 1937 a new ruby star was installed instead of the steel one. 

The tower's height without the star is 67,1 m and with the star — 70,4 m.

Text and photos provided by The Moscow Kremlin State Historical and Cultural Museum and Heritage Site.

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