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

General view

Borovitskaya 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 Borovitskaya Tower is a corner tower with a through-passage on the west side of the Kremlin. It is named after Borovitsky Hill, one of the seven hills Moscow is standing on. The tower was constructed in 1490 on the spot of an old Kremlin gate by Swiss-Italian architect Pietro Antonio Solari by order of Vasili III of Russia. In 1812, the tower was damaged by an explosion staged by the retreating French army. In 1817-19, the tower was restored. In 1935, the Soviets installed a red star on top of the tower. Following the closure of the Spassky Gate in Red Square to all traffic at the end of the 1990s, the Borovitsky Gate became the main vehicle passageway. Together with the star, its height is 54 metres.

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