FRYAZIN, Bon
(active 1493-1508 in Moscow)

Exterior view

1508
Photo
Ivan the Great Bell Tower, Moscow

The Ivan the Great Bell Tower is a church tower inside the Saint Basil's Cathedral complex. With a total height of 81 metres, it is the tallest tower and structure of Kremlin. It was built in 1508 on Cathedral Square for the three Russian Orthodox cathedrals, namely the Assumption (closest to the tower), the Archangel and the Annunciation, which do not have their own belfries. It serves as a part of Moscow Kremlin Museums.

The Bell Tower was built by Bon Fryazin, one of the many Italian architects of the Renaissance era invited by Ivan III (also known as Ivan the Great) to design buildings for the Kremlin complex in the centre of Moscow. 'Fryazin' was the common last name how the Muscovites called those who came from Italy.

The Ivan the Great Bell Tower is an ensemble with three components. All of the buildings are made of brick, and are whitewashed in accord with the neighbouring buildings of Cathedral Square. The tower itself consists of three octagonal drums, narrowing towards the top, and surmounted by a golden dome and seven-meter high cross. Each section has cut-out windows for the bells, and the upper third has a series of kokoshnik ornamentation (which marks the translation between the 1509 original and the 1600 addition).