SOLARI, Pietro Antonio
(b. ca. 1445, Carona, d. 1493, Moscow)

General view

Spasskaya Tower, Kremlin, Moscow

The Kremlin Wall is a defensive wall that surrounds the Moscow Kremlin, recognizable by the characteristic notches and its towers. The original walls were likely a simple wooden fence with guard towers built in 1156. The Kremlin is flanked by 19 towers with a 20th, the Koutafia Tower, not part of its walls.

To date twenty towers survived, highlighting the walls. Built at a different time, the oldest one, Tainitskaya dates to 1485 whilst the newest one, Tsarskaya to 1680. Three of the towers, located in the corners of the castle have unique circular profiles. From the ground level it is only possible to enter six of the towers, the rest only from the walls.

Four gate towers exist, all crowned with ruby stars, they are Spasskaya, Borovitskaya, Troitskaya and Nikolskaya.

The Spasskaya Tower (Saviour Tower) was built in 1491 by the Italian architect Pietro Antonio Solari. It was the first tower of the many Moscow Kremlin Towers to be crowned with the hipped roof in 1624-1625 by architects Bazhen Ogurtsov and Christopher Galloway (a Scottish architect and clock maker). The clock on the Spasskaya Tower appeared between 1491 and 1585; it is usually referred to as the Kremlin chimes and designates official Moscow Time. The gate of Spasskaya Tower was used to greet dignitaries, and was also used during formal ceremonies or processions. The tower gate was once the main entrance into the Kremlin. In tsarist times, anyone passing through the gates had to remove their headgear and dismount their horses.

The photo shows the Spasskaya Tower.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.