For centuries of its existence the Moscow Kremlin has been witness of many famous and tragic events of our history. Enemy guns rattled at its walls, celebrations and revolts took place. Now the Moscow Kremlin is one of the biggest museums of the world. State regalia of Russia, invaluable icons, treasures of Russian tsars are stored in the Kremlin chambers and cathedrals.
Spasskaya Tower is considered to be the most beautiful and most harmonious tower of the Kremlin. It was constructed by architect Pietro Antonio Solari in 1491. From time immemorial the Spasskaya gate was the main smart entrance to the Kremlin. It was especially esteemed among people and was considered to be sacred. It was forbidden to pass astride through the Spasskaya gate.
For more than 150 years a unique monument of Russian art moulding of XVIII century - a well-known Emperor Bell has been standing on the white -stone pedestal at the bottom of the Bell Tower of Ivan the Great. Large bells were cast in the Gun Court in Moscow in 16-17 th centuries, but they did not remain to these days. Sometimes they broke from time, from too strong impacts, but more often were damaged by fires. During a great fire in Moscow in 1701 the Bell fell down and broke into pieces.
The Emperor Cannon, cast by Andrey Shchokhov is the oldest and the largest cannon in the world. It was cast in 1586 in the Gun Court in Moscow during the reign of Fyodor - son of Ivan the Terrible. The appearance of such unique work was a natural result of the development of the oldest branch of Russian craft - foundry business, which was known in Russia from X century. The length of this huge gun makes 5 meters 34 centimeters. The external diameter of the barrel is 120 centimeters, diameter of the barrel pattern zone is 134 centimeters, calibre is 890 millimeters.
For 400 years of its existence the Emperor Cannon changed its location for several times. In 18th century it was displaced to the Moscow Kremlin and at the beginning was located in a court yard of the Arsenal building and then at its main gate. In 1835 iron gun carriages, decorated with splendid ornaments, were cast at St. Petersburg Berd Factory under sketch of architect A.P.Brullov and drawings of engineer P.Y. de Vitte. Now the Emperor Cannon, placed on a gun carriage, was established opposite the Arsenal. Four iron decorative cannon - balls, each 1000 kgs, were placed by the cannon side. In 1960, following the construction of the Kremlin Palace of Congresses, the Emperor Cannon have been solemnly moved to the Ivanovskaya Square to the Cathedral of Twelve Apostles, where it stands until now.