Mama Ro at Chistye Prudy

Mama Ro at Chistye Prudi (Clean Ponds) is located on the second line of the Moscow Boulevard Ring. The Metro station, historical sites and alleys, cafes, nightlife and bars, walking paths along the boulevard, catamarans on the ponds and performances from street musicians in summer are all bonuses that can be easily enjoyed in the selection of any of the Mama Ro studios at Chistye Prudy.

Moscow, Gusyatnikov pereulok, 4, build. 3.

Our Headquarters and the following studios are located here:
Chinese, French, Byzantine, Suprematist, Street Art,
Old Moscow, Jazz, Stone, Pine, Bauhaus, Melnikov, Avia

Find us:

The quickest way to get to the center of any airport of Moscow – high-speed express train (journey time – 35 to 45 minutes). Check schedules and prices, please visit the Aeroexpress . Upon arrival in the city, use the metro.


We are located at “Chistye prudy” metro station. The average travel time from any Moscow railway station to “Chistye prudy” is 15 minutes. The Moscow Metro map is available here >

Walking from the metro

Walking time to Mama Ro apartments from “Chistye prudy” metro station takes 3 minutes. Use the 3D graphic map (see the picture) to find the right direction from the metro. Our entrance has a round canopy. Ring the doorbell near the “Mama Ro” sign. Our administrator will be waiting for you on the 2nd floor.

By car

To get directions with Google or Yandex Maps, type in the search box: Mama Ro Chistye (for Google Maps) or Мама Ро Чистые (Yandex maps).

Just a 17 Minute Walk
to the Heart of Moscow


The Moscow Kremlin!

You will find below the
entertainment we created
devoted to this architectur-
al ensemble. Please scroll
down to check it out.
Have a good surfing!


The Kremlin is the oldest part of the city. The first fortifications on Borovitsky Hill appeared in 1156 and occupied only the south-western part. The city was quickly developing and expanding, and in 1340, by order of Prince Ivan Kalita, wooden towers and walls were built around the hill. In 1367, under Dmitry Donskoy, a Russian master, begin to erect the walls and towers of white stone.

The Kremlin got its modern look in the 15th century when Prince Ivan III invited the best Italian architects to Moscow who, in 1485, started large-scale construction. The boundaries of the Kremlin increased significantly:, there they built 2235 meters of walls and 20 towers made of red brick. There’s an interesting fact that in the XVIII century the Kremlin was whitewashed and remained white until the mid XX century. In 1947, the Kremlin buildings were restored to celebrate the 800th anniversary of Moscow. Then, by the order of Stalin walls and towers were repainted in red which was an ideologically true color and so it remains red to this day.

The famous stars appeared on the Spasskaya, Nikolskaya, Troitskaya and Borovitskaya towers of the Kremlin in 1935, just after the symbols of the imperial power, the double-headed eagles, were removed from them. The first stars were made of stainless steel which were coated with gold and the hammer and sickle were placed in the center and were inlaid with Ural semi-precious stones. However, a year later due to dirt in the air, the gems faded and ceased to shine, and the stars were dismantled. The new stars of ruby glass with internal lighting were produced and installed. Later, there also appeared a fifth star on the Vodovzvodnaya tower.

The Kazan Cathedral

The cathedral is built in the Russian style – with the number of tiers of the corbel arches (kokoshniki) and a tent-roofed belfry. However, in the 18-19 centuries the building has suffered several changes, so the cathedral began to look more like a typical refectory church of 19th century in a classic style, which had seriously angered the public and the clergy.

In 1936, when Red Square was being prepared for restoration, the Kazan cathedral was demolished as “the building which did not serve the new significance for Red Square which was now a place for military parades of the Soviet Socialistic State”.

Luckily, a famous Russian architect Pyotr Baranovsky managed to make the plans and the measurements of the building, so the cathedral was finally rebuilt in 1990-1993 basing on the Old Russian forms of the 17th century.

Zaikonospassky Monastery

The Monastery of the Holy Mandalion was founded in 1600 by decree of Boris Godunov. The monastery acquired its current name due to its location “behind the icon shops”. The Saviour Cathedral in the monastery was built in 1701 by an architect Ivan Zarudny and is one of the best examples of Petrine baroque.

In 1687, onmonastery territory the first institution in Russia – Slavic Greek Latin Academy- was opened.

One of the most famous students of this academy is Mikhail Lomonosov, the first Russian scientist, natural philosopher of universal importance, lexicographer, the poet who became a symbol of Russian science, and the founder of the Moscow State University.

The Synodal Printing house building

The print yard was built in 1563 for the printing house of Ivan Fyodorov, who is considered as the founder of the Russian printing. “Apostol”, the first Russian dated printed book was published here. And in 1703, the first newspaper was printed here marking the beginning of the Russian periodical press.

Since the beginning, the buildings of the Print yard had undergone many changes. The Gothic revival building, which faced the Nikolskaya street was built in 1811-1815 as per the project of a Russian architect Ivan Mironovski. The foreside is decorated with the ornamental white-stone cutting and the fancy columns with vine, as well as the motifs of the ancient Print yard buildings: a lion and a unicorn.

Nowadays it is a house for the Historical institute of the Russian University of Humanities.

Nikolskaya street

Nikolskaya street was built at the end of 13th century as a part of the Moscow – Vladimir road. It is one of three main roads of Kitay-gorod – one of the oldest Moscow districts. Before the creation of the Red Square, the street took its beginning from the Nikolskie Gate of the Kremlin and was going to the Nikolskie (Vladimirskie) gate of the Kitay-gorod wall.

The street was named after the monastery of Nikola the Old, which was founded in 1390. Step by step the street was building up withmonasteries,merchants’ rows and the house of the noble boyars. It was prestigious to live on Nikolskaya. The first printing house in Russia – the Moscow Print Yard- was created on this street, as well as the Slavic Greek Latin academy, the first institute of higher education in Russia where Mikhail Lomonosov took his study. Nikolskaya was the centre of the icons and books trade.

In the 19th century the buildings of Nikolskaya strongly increased; many different shops, coffee houses, restaurants and hotels appeared here. This is what a Russian author Ivan Kokorev wrote about the street: “ House to house, door to door, window to window, all of this, from the bottom to top is covered with sign boards as if they were wallpaper”. The trading spirit of the street has remained till the present time. The street is currently reconstructed and appointed more for pedestrian flow.

Tretyakov passage with the shopping galleries

Tretyakov passage was built in 1871 as per the project of the architect Alexandre Kaminsky against order of the merchants-philanthropists brothers Pavel and Sergey Tretyakov, founders of the Tretyakov Gallery – one of the main Moscow art museums.

To construct a passage, a tiny part of the Kitay-gorod wall was dismantled. The passage connected Nikolskaya street with Teatralny passage. The shopping galleries were arranged in the passage.

Two buildings with the gate arches are completely different on the level of architecture. The foreside which faces Nikolskaya is made in a neo-renaissance style and the one which faces Teatralny passage simulates a Russian style – a tent-shaped tower-ramparts in the form of “dovetail”, a ornamental machicolation; all of this should have been correlated with the medieval wall of Kitay-gorod.

Today this place is called “a passage of the luxurious boutiques”, since nowadays it is one of the most expensive places for shopping in Moscow.

Nikolskie Gate of the Kitay-gorod wall (The monument was lost)
Monument is lost

Nikolskie gate is a non-existant part of the Kitay-gorod rampart; they used to connect Nikolskaya street with Lubyanskaya square.

Kitay-gorod wall is the second line of the Moscow fortification structure, which was designed to protect the city from the Crimea tatar raids. The first lines of defense were the Kremlin walls.

The construction of the Kitay-gorod wall took a period from the 1534 to 1538, and was operated by an Italian architect Petrok Maly. The rampart of 2567 meters long was a lot lower than the one a the Kremli, but thicker, which made it convenient to defend from cannon fire. The towers turn out to be more stocky, so some of them were rebuilt to the tent-roofed towers, including Nikolskaya.

The wall had lost its defensive significance back in 18th century, and in the Soviet time this great example of the Old Russian architecture was demolished due to Stalin’s plan for the reconstruction of Moscow. Nikolskie gate sank into oblivion together with the fortress walls. As for today, only several fragments of the ancient building along with the part of the wall with the Bird’s tower at the Revolution square might be found.

Saltykov-Chertkov Mansion

This is one of the few survived not religious baroque buildings in Moscow. The main building of the mansion was built in the middle of the 18th century. Subsequently there were numerous outhouses added to the building, which were combined into one building with a central manor in the middle of the 19th century.

There are well preserved interiors from the 19th century in the mansion – the Gothic hall, the smoking-room in Mauritanian style, and a ladder decorated by Fyodor Schechtel, a famous Russian architect of Art Nouveau epoch. In 1831, Alexander Chertkov, a Russian scientist and bibliophile bought the mansion; he collected a unique library dedicated to Russian history. His house became a centre for the Moscow cultural life of that time. Alexander Pushkin, Nikolay Gogol, Leo Tolstoy, Konstantin Tsiolkovski have all been visited and worked at the mansion.

Today there are many different exhibitions and installations taking place at the manor.

Myasnitskaya (Butcher) street

Myasnitskaya street was built in 15th century, its history takes its beginning in the construction of the Church of Assumption at Nikolsky gate of the Kitay-gorod fortress. The butchers began to settle on this street in the olden times, so this is where the street got its current name from.

In the 18th century the street changed its character, the houses of the noblesse and monastery inns began to appear here. However, it remained mostly wooden buildings. The current look of Myasnitskaya formed in the late 19th to the beginning of 20th century, when the new city owners came up to the street – the bourgeoisie, the owners of the factories. The street began to build up with big commercial apartment buildings, with business concerned offices, and with banks. The General Emperor Post office was built at that time. The street acquired a business status. It is one of the first to be provided with street lightening, in the beginning – a gas one, and after – the electric, furthermore, the line of the horse railroad appeared to here, and then, later on, the tramline. And in the 20th century the first line of the Moscow subway was paved under this street.

Myasnitskaya is today one of the liveliest streets of the city, many cafés and restaurants could be found on it, which, in combination with the diverse types of architecture and well-designed pavements, makes the street very attractive for walks.

Teahouse on Myasnitskaya street

This unordinary house was built in 1890-1893’s as per the project of an architect Roman Klein for the tea merchant Sergey Perlov. The first floor was for the tea shop, and other floors were occupied by profitable apartments and the host’s own apartment.

Originally, the house did not simulate Chinese architecture. In 1896, the foreside of the building got a Chinese style due to the architect Karl Gippius. It was at that time when the Chinese chancellor Li Hongzhang was supposed to visit Moscow. The front side of the house became a sort of advertisement of Perlov’s company. The merchant expected that when the chancellor would see his home he would definitely visit it, so Perlov would be able to sign some bumper contracts for tea trade. But it so happened that Li Hongzhang did not make it to visit Sergey Perlov. However, it should be noted that it did not prevent the business of Perlov from successful prosperity. Tea trade has never been stopped at this house; of course, during the Soviet times the store was nationalized, but the tea trade continued and has continued up to this day.

If you came to Moscow as a tourist, start your first walk with Mama Ro - we created the optimum and most interesting route from Chistye Prudy to the Kremlin. In 2066 steps, totalling about a 17-minute walk

We counted!

You can reach the Kremlin in 16 minutes 33 seconds with an average height of 175-180 cm. That, of course, is not that important: better to walk around slowly so that not to miss any of the beautiful places on this route.

, you are in the heart of the capital on Red Square.

Don’t Forget Your Smartphone

We also marked the most interesting architectural sites and historical places on the route to make your trip even more fun so make sure to take your smartphone with you! Once you are on Red Square, use the map below – on it you will find some interesting facts about the architectural complex of the Kremlin and the objects around it. Don’t pay attention to the woods and fields surrounding the Kremlin – there is a famous saying in Russia, "Moscow was not built all at once." Our city is gradually always being built, and you will be able to see that for yourself. All in all, here you will find plenty of interesting things. Just take a look:

Kutafya (Predmostnaya) Tower

Kutafya tower was created in 1516 by Italian architect Aleviz Fryazin, its height is 13.5 meters. This tower is not high, but it is the smartest and most unusual.

The tower got its first name Predmostnaya (“In front of a bridge” in Russian) due to its location as it is located in front of the Troitsky Bridge and was once surrounded by a moat filled with the waters of the Neglinnaya River. When the attacks took place, the gate would be closed up with a lift part of the bridge and the tower became a serious obstacle to the fortress invaders.

As for the origin of the modern name, there are still debates. Some researchers believe that this name was given from the Russian word "kut" which means shelter or corner. But others believe that the word "Kutafya" means plump, clumsy woman.

Oruzheynaya (Konyushennaya) Tower

Oruzheynaya (Armory in Russian) tower was built in 1495 by Italian architect Aleviz Fryazin, its height is 38.9 meters.

The first name of the tower is came from the fact that in the 17th century it had a passing gate to a stable yard. The current name was given in the 19th century after the construction of the Armory.

Like all the towers of the Kremlin, in the 17th century the tower got its hipped roof. However, it has well preserved its medieval shapes. This is a massive quadrangle (quadrangular in terms of volume) complete with a combat area, subsequently, heightened by a tent with an observation zone.

Borovitskaya (Predtechenskaya [from the Russian word predtecha, the forerunner]) Tower

The tower was built in 1490 by the Italian architect Pietro Antonio Solari and stands at a height of 50.7 meters.

Previously, the tower served as the entrance to the household section of the sovereign's estate. And today these are the only gates through which you can drive to the Kremlin by car.

There are two versions of the origin of its name. The first version is that it was named after the place where the tower is located. In this past time, the hill used to be covered with a forest (coniferous forest). The second version is connected with the place close to the location where taxes were taken or "bor" in old Russian. From the date of its construction the tower was named "Borovitskaya", however, in 1658, Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich ordered to rename it to Predtechenskaya as the Church of John the Forerunner but the new name did not stick! And so far it is the only tower of the Kremlin which bears its first historical name.

The Vodovzvodnaya (Water Pump) Tower

The Vodovzvodnaya tower was built in 1488, its height is 57,7 meters. The architect Anton Fryazin was taking care of its construction, here, for the first time in the Russian architecture history the decoration of the tower was made in the form of the “dovetail”, with which all the Kremlin walls were subsequently skirted.

Previously, there was a house of the Sviblov boyar family located nearby, this is where the tower got its first name (Sviblova) from. Its current name the tower received in 1633, after the water-supplying machine was installed inside it.

This was the first pumped water line in Russia. It was designed by an English engineer Christopher Galloway. With the help of this machine the water was drawn up to the Sytny and to the Kormovoy palace all the way to the royal gardens and water reservoirs. By the way, the original pipes were made of lead, which in that time was not yet known as a harmful metal, on the contrary it was considered as an attribute of wealth.

Annunciation (Blagoveschenskaya) tower

Annunciation tower was built in 1488 and presumably its author was the architect Anton Fryazin, but the precise data hasn’t been preserved. This is one of the low-rise towers of the Kremlin and its height is 30.7 meters.

It received its name for the the icon of the Annunciation of the Mother of God which, according to legend, miraculously appeared on the wall of the tower and rescued her imprisoned voevode (governor) from death. This happened during the reign of Ivan the Terrible, when the veovode was imprisoned in the dungeon tower on false and faked accusations. The tsar was going to execute him, but the prisoner spent his days in constant prayer and it helped him. When Ivan the Terrible found out about the miracle that happened, the prisoner’s sentence was immediately canceled.

Initially a wooden chapel was made for the icon on the tower. Later, in the 18th century a church was built there by the order of Empress Anna Ivanovna and part of the wall with the icon was built into it. A cross was installed above the hipped roof of the tower and a belfry under it.

However, in the rebellious 20th century, the Bolsheviks demolished the church and the miraculous icon sunk in the summer into oblivion.

The Tainitskaya (Secret) Tower

Tainitskaya Tower was built in 1485 as the first of all the modern Kremlin’s towers. The architect was an Italian Anton Fryazin. The tower is 38,4 meters tall. Originally the tower had a gateway and a firing port. And in the 17th century it was equipped with a fire station.

The tower’s name is related to the word “secret” (“tainik” in Russian). During the construction, they dug a secret well and a secret tunnel that led towards the Moskva River, with the purpose of suppling the people with water in case of siege. There is also a theory that this underground passage was used for the secret raids and for the dispatch of the couriers. During the later investigations, it was found out that there were two underground passages leading from the bottom of the well. One lead to the Kremlin, and another to the other side of the Moskva River. During the Soviet time’s the gateway was covered in concrete by state security.

First Unnamed Tower

The First Unnamed Tower was built in 1485-1488, its height is 34.13 meters.

This is an ordinary tower travel without gates but with a difficult fate. In the 15-16 centuries, gunpowder was stored in it which exploded in a fire and severely damaged the tower. It was said that its debris scattered onto the entire Kremlin. In the 18th century the tower was demolished due to the beginning of the construction of the Kremlin Palace of Vasily Bazhenov. The palace was not to appear, and the tower was erected again. In 1812, the tower had to experience a new challenge: a retreating French army blew up the tower. It was restored only in 1816-1835 by the architect Osip Beauvais who was involved in the reconstruction of Moscow after the Napoleon’s invasion.

The Second Nameless Tower

The Second Nameless tower was built in the 1480’s and is 30,2 meters tall. In the beginning of the 18th century the tower served as the function of a gate, which was bricked up later. The First Nameless tower, it was demolished for the construction of the Kremlin Palace as per the design of the architect Vasily Bazhenov. The palace was not finished, so the tower was soon restored.

Until 1917, with the permission of the local authorities, everyone could make a two-hour walk along the whole Kremlin wall. All the sightseers were accompanied by an old soldier. The eyewitnesses recalled that a chill crept from the walls inside the towers, as well as the silence, damp, moss and mold were all over the place.

Petrovskaya (Ugreshskaya) Tower

Petrovskaya Tower was built in 1480’s, its height is 27.15 meters.

His first name was named after the church in town of the Ugreshi Monastery and the second name was came from the church in honor of the first Moscow Metropolitan Peter which was built with no travelling gates.

However, the tower has reached us not in its original form. The first time it suffered in 1612 during the Polish intervention, the second time it was pulled down together with the church in 1771 to construct the Kremlin Palace of Vasily Bazhenov. Fortunately, the tower was soon restored, but not the church.Napoleon's invasion also affected the tower: it was blown up and was rebuilt in 1818.

Moskvoretskaya (Beklemishevskaya) Tower

Moskvoretskaya tower was designed by the Italian architect Marco Fryazin in 1487-1488 years, its height is 46, 2 meters.

This tower is the Kremlin’s frontline defense post as it would alway take the first blow. There is a natural barrier on the approach to the tower which is the Moscow River, but for greater protection, earlier in this same place, was another lower fortress wall in front of the Kremlin walls.The tower was called Beklemishevskaya and was by the adjacent house of Boyar Ivan Beklemishev, which later turned into a prison for the disgraced boyars. The modern name of the tower was given because it was located near by Moskvoretskiy bridge.

The Konstantino-Eleninskaya Tower (Timofeevskaya) Tower

This tower was built in 1490 by architect Pietro Antonio Solari on the spot of the Timofeevskaye gates next to the ancient white stone Kremlin. Its height is 36.8 meters.

It was named after the Church of Konstantine and Elena which was located next to it.

The Konstantino-Eleninskaya Tower is known for its sad past. In the late 18th century, the famous "Constantine torture-chamber" was located in its turret. In the basement of the tower were dungeons which were a prison. They said that few people could stay more than a day in the torture-chamber and that others were simply going crazy.

Nabatnaya Tower

Nabatnaya tower was built in the 1490s, its height is 38 meters.

Its name came from the fact that it had a Spassky alarm bell. The old Russian word “nabat” means “alarm”. This bell was often used to alarm citizens that there was a fire or an invasion of enemy troops. The Kremlin had two more alarm bells: in the Troitskaya and Taynitskaya towers. The way the bells rang had special sounds with which it became possible to determine where the fire or invasion were coming from.

If the fire was in the Kremlin, they had to "beat all three nabats on one edge right away". In the case of fire starting in Kitay Gorod, they had to "beat Spassky naba on one edge right away". In the case of the fire coming from Bely Gorod they had to "beat Spassky nabat in both edges and the nabat on the Troitsky bridge on both the edges but quieter". In the case of fire in Zemlyanoy Gorod - they beat "calmly, with rhythm and pauses" the bell in the Taynitskaya tower.

The Spasskaya (Frolovskaya) Tower

Spasskaya Tower was built in 1491 by the architect Pietro Antonio Solari. Its height is 71 meters (including the star on the top of it). This is the main front gate of the Kremlin!

Originally the tower was named after the Saint Frol and Lavr church, then in 1658 the tower’s name was changed to Spasskaya due to the two icons - an Icon of the Saviour Not Made by Hands and an Icon of Smolensky Saviour, which were mounted above the front gate.

Spasskaya Tower is a symbol of Russia; it holds a sacred meaning to the inhabitants of our country. This is because its clock takes the count of the New Year!

The first chimes of the tower were designed in 1624 by an Englishman Christopher Galloway and they were telling only the day and night time. The present-day clock was made in 1851-1852 by the Butenop brothers from Denmark, Nicholas and Ivan. The chimes are located right on three floors. In 1917, while the bolsheviks attempted to take over the Kremlin, a stray shell hit the clock, seriously damaging its mechanism, so it remained static for almost a year! But, luckily, the new government decided to repair the clock, so it keeps telling the Moscow time to the present day.

Царская башня

The Tsar’s Tower is a small tower which was built the last, in the1680’s. It’s even difficult to call it a tower, since it is placed right on the wall and it looks like an ornamental little palace called terem in Russian. Its height together with the weathercock is 16,7 meters.

Legend has it that previously there was a wooden turret from which the Tsar had a habit of observing what was happening on Red Square. This is where its name comes from. According to another legend, that exactly from this place, Ivan the Terrible was observing the construction of the St. Basil’s Cathedral.

The Senatskaya (Senate) Tower

The Senatskaya Tower was built in 1490-s by the architect Pietro Antonio Solari. It is 34 meters in height. This tower was exclusively defensive in nature and was remained nameless for a long time. It was given its present name only in the end of the 18th century after the Kremlin Senate building was constructed. In 1918 a bas-relief, “for the fallen for peace and brotherhood of nations” designed by an architect Sergey Konenkov, was installed over the tower in a memory of the fallen fighters of the October Revolution. This plaque was removed afterwards and was given to a museum.

Saint Basil’s Cathedral

Cathedral of the Intercession of the Virgin by the Moat – that is the original name of the one of the most famous monuments of the Russian and world architecture. It was constructed from 1555 to 1561 next to the moat that originally ran beside the eastern wall of the Kremlin on the order of the Tsar Ivan the Terrible in honor of a military conquest of the city of Kazan.

The architects were Barma and Postnik. Legend has it that after the cathedral was complete, Ivan had the architects blinded in order to prevent them from building a more magnificent building for anyone else.

Originally the cathedral made up of 9 chapels and a bell tower. In 1588 a small chapel was added over the tomb of Basil the Blessed. Basil in his lifetime was known by the muscovites as a holy fool of Christ and as a prophet. At his funeral Ivan the Terrible and the boyars as well, carried Basil’s coffin to the cemetery and the Metropolitan of Moscow Macarius performed a funeral service. Eventually Basil became one of the most popular saints of Moscow and people began to call the cathedral after him.

During the Soviet times the cathedral was opened as a division of the State Historical Museum and in the middle of the 30’s it was in danger of being destroyed, it was cleared of the dome in order to prepare for its demolition. But, fortunately, the famous architect Pyotr Baranovsky took up the cudgels for the cathedral. Unafraid of the consequences, he sent a telegram to Joseph Stalin asking to prevent the demolition of the cathedral. And it was spared! Nowadays, the Saint Basil’s cathedral has been reopened for worship.

GUM (Upper Trading Rows)

Trading on the territory of the GUM has been taking place since the XV century. Originally there were wooden stores and then there were stone buildings, which were rebuilt several times. In 1887, a competition on the new building of the trading rows was held in which the project of Alexander Pomerantsev won.

The architect moved away from the classical tradition in the direction of pseudo-Russian style, and thanks to the engineers, Vladimir Shukhov and Artur Loleit, the rows got a translucent glass covered roof. There were 1,200 stores in the building, three meeting halls (a movie theater was soon created in one of them), an electric power station, and an artesian well for their water supply.

After the revolution, the building was used for apartments of prominent party leaders and various offices. In the early 50's, the rows have been restored and begun to wear a new name - GUM – which is an abbreviation in Russian for the State Department Store. But this abbreviation can be interpreted differently and this is why there is another unofficial name this store which is the Major Department Store in Moscow. During the Soviet times, every guest of the capital considered it a duty to visit this store as there they would be able to find and get scarce goods. Even today the GUM remains a popular store both for Muscovites and tourists.

Nikolskaya Tower

Nikolskaya tower was built in 1491 by Italian architect Pietro Antonio Solari, its height with the star is 70,4 meters.

The tower was named after the icon of St. Nicholas, which is located above the gates of the tower. The road through the gates led to the boyars and monasteries of the Kremlin, and where the Tsarina, Tsarevnas and pilgrims got in and out of the Kremlin. The so-called "scientists street" started from the Nikolskiye Gates. There were two monasteries, the first printing-house, and the first seminary built on this street.

During the retreat of Napoleon's troops in 1812, the tower was blown up and, thus, very badly damaged. The remarkable architect Osip Beauvais was in charge of its restoration in 1816-1819. He gave the tower neo-Gothic look and it was painted white.

Corner Arsenalnaya (Sobakin) Tower

Arsenal Tower was built by an Italian architect Pietro Antonio Solari in 1492 and stands at a height of 60.2 meters.

The first name of the tower comes from a legend saying that the tower was adjacent to the courtyard of Sobakins boyars but no evidence of that remains today. The tower got its current name from the Arsenal building which was built nearby.

This corner tower, the most powerful tower of the Kremlin, was the final line of defense on the side of the Red Square. It also regulated the Neglinnaya river crossing. This towers has a secret as well: a secret well was placed in it to supply the Kremlin forces with water in case of a siege. In addition, they discovered a secret underground passage to the Neglinnaya River, which was subsequently laid.

The Middle Arsenal Tower

The Middle Arsenal Tower was built in 1495 on the site of the Kremlin corner tower from the times of Dmitry Donskoy, its height is 38,9 meters. It was given its present name after the Arsenal building located nearby.

In 1821, an Italian grotto was constructed by an architect Joseph Bové at the foot of the tower. Its more well-known name is “The Ruins”. The fragments of the Moscow buildings, destroyed during the Napoleon invasion in 1812, were used to create the grotto. Accroding to Bové, this grotto should symbolize the resurrection of Moscow from ruins.

The Troitskaya (Trinity) Tower

The Troitskaya Tower was built in 1495-1499 by an Italian architect Aloisio da Milano (Aleviz Fryazin Milanets), the tower together with the star on its top is 80 meters tall. This is the highest tower of the Moscow Kremlin!

The tower received its current name in 1658 after the mission of the Trinity Monastery, and before that the gates had changed from many different names. First, they were called Karetnye, then Rizopolozhenskie, then Znamenskie, then Bogoyavlenskie.

The Troitskie (Trinity) Gates are the second most important after the Spasskie Gates. They were intended for the passage of the patriarch, the queens and the princesses. Many significant moments are tied to this gate. In 1612, the shameful boyar government, which carried off Russia to the intervention, came out from here and surrendered. The lords along with the Polish intervenors took refuge in the Kremlin. And on the 2nd of September the troops of Napoleon entered the Kremlin through this gate, and through them they left the city burnt on the 11th.


The Kremlin is the oldest part of the city. The first fortifications on Borovitsky Hill appeared in 1156 and occupied only the south-western part. The city was quickly developing and expanding, and in 1340, by order of Prince Ivan Kalita, wooden towers and walls were built around the hill. In 1367, under Dmitry Donskoy, a Russian master, begin to erect the walls and towers of white stone.

The Kremlin got its modern look in the 15th century when Prince Ivan III invited the best Italian architects to Moscow who, in 1485, started large-scale construction. The boundaries of the Kremlin increased significantly:, there they built 2235 meters of walls and 20 towers made of red brick. There’s an interesting fact that in the XVIII century the Kremlin was whitewashed and remained white until the mid XX century. In 1947, the Kremlin buildings were restored to celebrate the 800th anniversary of Moscow. Then, by the order of Stalin walls and towers were repainted in red which was an ideologically true color and so it remains red to this day.

The famous stars appeared on the Spasskaya, Nikolskaya, Troitskaya and Borovitskaya towers of the Kremlin in 1935, just after the symbols of the imperial power, the double-headed eagles, were removed from them. The first stars were made of stainless steel which were coated with gold and the hammer and sickle were placed in the center and were inlaid with Ural semi-precious stones. However, a year later due to dirt in the air, the gems faded and ceased to shine, and the stars were dismantled. The new stars of ruby glass with internal lighting were produced and installed. Later, there also appeared a fifth star on the Vodovzvodnaya tower.

Chudov (comes from the word in Russian that means miracle) Monastery
The monument is lost

This is one of the oldest monasteries of the Moscow Kremlin. According to a legend, when the Khan of the Golden Horde Janibek heard that God works miracles after the prayers of the Metropolitan Alexy, he asked the Moscow Duke to send the Horde a saintly man to pray for the queen Taydule who was blinded three years prior. The Metropolitan Alexy came to the Horde, lit a candle and sprinkled holy water on the Tatar Queen and Taydula recovered her sight. In gratitude, Khan Janibek reduced the amount of the tribute for Russians and the queen offered the Metropolitan Alexy the Khan's deputies’ court. In 1365, the Chudov Monastery was erected in this place.

In 1378, the Metropolitan Alexy died and was buried in the church. The representatives of many princely and boyar families were also buried in the monastery (the tsar's rich deposits were also kept in the sacristy of the monastery) and the monastery’s library became one of the largest book depositories in Russia. In 1919, the monastery was closed and the premises of the monastery were used for the «Communist» Cooperative, nurseries and hut-reading room. In 1929, the Chudov monastery was completely demolished and the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet was built in its spot.

Today, negotiations are underway with a vision for a possible recovery of the Chudov Monastery in the same place, and one of the buildings of the Presidium was already preliminarily demolished for this purpose.

Monument to Tsar Alexander II
Monument is lost

On March, 1881 in St. Petersburg, Tsar Alexander II was mortally wounded. A bomb was thrown at him by terrorists-members of "Narodnaya Volya". This event caused major resonance, and representatives of the higher circles of the society proposed the creation of a monument to the great emperor.

This was followed by a few competitions which did not bring the desired results. In autumn 1889, the artist Peter Zhukovsky (the son of the poet Vasily Zhukovsky) created a sketch of the monument in which the tsar Alexander III was described with the following words: "Simple and holy". Nicholas Sultanov was responsible for the detailed design of the project and the statue of the emperor was created by a sculptor Alexander Opekushin.

The figure of the Emperor was placed under the shade of a tent, which was surrounded on three sides by a low gallery. Its arches were decorated with 33 mosaic portraits of the Russian tsars. The idea of positioning the statue on the bastion was so that it could be hanging over the Kremlin hill - this was a successful conception by Zhukovsky. The city received a fantastic viewing platform on Zamoskvorechye together with the monument.

Unfortunately, the monument did not last long. In 1918, it was thrown from the pedestal and crashed, the pedestal was demolished in 1928.

Ivan the Great’s Bell Tower with the Assumption Belfry and the Filaret Annex

The bell tower, built in 1505-1508, marked the beginning of the formation of Cathedral Square. This amazing structure, 60 meters high, was created by the Italian architect, Bon Fryazin.

At the end of the 16th century Boris Godunov ordered to raise the bell tower so they built on a building with a high drum with a gilded dome. At this time its height was 81 meters. Thus, Ivan the Great’s Bell Tower became not only the tallest building in Moscow, but the city's main tower from which they were observing the borders and watching for urban fires. Ivan’s pillar has become a symbol not only of Moscow but of all of Russia. There was even a special order forbidding to build buildings higher than this belfry.

But there was a man who dared to break this rule. That was Prince Alexander Menshikov who built a house church higher than the belfry. People immediately considered it as a bad omen. And, indeed, lightning struck it and burned the upper tier. Later Menshikov himself fell into disgrace. Thus, Ivan the Great’s Bell Tower for a long time remained the tallest building in Moscow.

The Cathedral of the Assumption

For more over than 4 centuries the Cathedral of the Assumption was a religious and political center of Russia. All the metropolitans and patriarchs were consecrated here. Here official announcements and prayer services before and after battles, in honor of a victory, were being made. Here the Tsars were crowned and the people took oaths to the country.

Here in 1326, the foundation stone cathedral was laid and, shortly after, consecrated. It stood for 145 years, but eventually had begun to dilapidate, so in 1472 the cathedral was dismantled. In the same year it was decided to build a new cathedral. The construction lasted for two years, when the walls were already done and the workers had already started with the fornication, and on the night of the 21st of May, 1474, the building suddenly collapsed. There are several explanations of this tragedy. According to some sources, it was collapsed due to an earthquake, according to another sources – due to negligence of the Russian architects.

To complete the construction a foreign architect was invited, his name was Aristotle Fioravanti from Italy. The new cathedral was consecrated in 1479. The walls were made of white stone and the arches were made of brick. It looks monolithic enough (even in the ancient manuscripts a phrase “like one stone” might be found), but at the same time you can find an elegant simplicity in its architecture.

Currently, there are the services carried out in the cathedral sometimes, but it continues to function as a museum, so there it is possible to see the unique and the most venerated icons and relics.

Cathedral of the Archangel

The Cathedral of the Archangel is the second largest cathedral in the Kremlin. It was also constructed under the supervision of a foreigner – an Italian architect named Aloisio the New. There is a very interesting element in the architecture of the temple, white stone shells in the Cathedral arches, which has become widespread in Russian architecture.

The Archangel Cathedral is the necropolis for the Russian princes and tsars. There are 9 generations buried of Daniel Aleksandrovich (Rurik) and first representatives of the Romanov dynasty.

It was here, in the Cathedral of the Archangel, the Russian princes and tsars gave the oath of allegiance to each other by kissing the cross on the graves of their ancestors. They were came here during the days of remembrance, as well as when they were going to the battlefield. There was a custom in the grand-ducal family: when there were some difficulties, the princes would ask their dead father for help by praying to them.

Here are the tombs of Ivan the Terrible and his son Ivan who are associated with a remarkable history. There is a widespread theory that Ivan the Terrible killed his son with a crooked staff, a crook, by hitting him in the head. In the middle of the 20th century, this version was questioned, as there was an assumption that he might have died from being poisoned. Their tombs were opened with the permission of Nikita Khrushchev. Scientists were disappointed though as the remains almost didn't preserve because of the lack of access of water and air to the tomb, thus, they couldn't solve the mystery of his son's death. Although, thanks to this story sculptors were able to accurately recreate the portrait of Ivan the Terrible.

Cathedral of the Annunciation

The Cathedral of the Annunciation is the home church of Russian sovereigns. It was intended for home ceremonies such as confessions and communions for sovereigns, and baptisms and wedding ceremonies for the tsars’ children and so on. The temple was also the place of storage of the Great Treasury.

Initially the cathedral was part of the Great Palace connected by a stairway passage. It is interesting that the story of the Kremlin Clock has started with the palace and cathedral. Already in 1404, the clock, with a mechanical figure of a man who struck the gavel at the end of each hour, was set behind the wooden (at that time) cathedral. It is in this way Moscow has begun to know the exact time.

Before the revolution, during the Temple Day Holiday, the tsar was feeding the poor and,according to the remaining eyewitnesses, a fish soup of fried carps and perches was served more often.

Komendantskaya (Kolymazhnaya) Tower

Komendantskaya (Commandant’s in Russian) Tower was built in 1495 by Italian architect Aleviz Fryazin, its height is 38.9 meters.

It used to be called Kolymazhnaya after the Kremlin’s coach yard where carriages and coaches had been kept. It was given its current name in the 19th century when the commandant of Moscow took up residence in the Kremlin’s Poteshny (Amusement in Russian) Palace.

There is the legend associated with this tower. They say that a pale woman with a gun in her hand lives there. She is a ghost of the famous terrorist Fanny Kaplan who made an attempt upon Vladimir Lenin’s life. She was shot and then burned at the Kremlin walls.

Pashkov House

The Pashkov House was built in the classical style in 1784-1786 and presumably was designed by the architect Vasily Bazhenov as an urban estate for the nobleman Peter Pashkov.

The picturesque location on Starovagankovsky hill; harmonious proportions, and elegant belvedere with a beautiful view of the city made this building one of the main attractions of Moscow.

In 1861, the Rumyantsev Museum was opened in this building. Its book funds formed the basis of the Russian State Library (RSL) built nearby during the Soviet Times and is the largest library in Europe. Today in Pashkov house are located Manuscripts and Music Departments of the RSL.

Red Square

Red Square is the heart of Moscow, the most beautiful and famous Russian area. The square was formed at its current location in the late 15th century, when trade zone was moved behind the Kremlin wall. First, the square was called the Great bargain, then Troitskaya and Fire, and in the 17th century it became known as the Krasnaya (red in Russian) which means "beautiful" in Old Russian.

Red Square from its inception has become the center of national life. In addition, it was a place of trade, here meetings of merchants and boyars were held, important country issues were discussed, the tsar's decrees were read out, and ceremonies and processions were held.

Today the area remained its central importance, though it became mostly a tourist spot. It hosts various fairs and concerts, offers a winter skating rink, fireworks are organized for important city and country holidays. It is on the Red Square where the parade is annually held on the Day of Victory in the Great Patriotic War.

Ascension Convent
The monument is lost

The Ascension Convent was founded in 1386 by Princess Eudoxia, the wife of Dmitry Donskoy. It was located near the Spasskaya Tower and bordered the Kremlin wall.

The first convent church was made of wood, later three stone cathedrals were built there: Ascension, Church of Michael Malein and Catherine's church was built in 1808-1817 by Carlo Rossi in the neo-Gothic style. This was the only building by the wonderful Italian architect in Moscow.

The Ascension convent was a necropolis for women of the royal family. Here a Byzantine princess, the wife of Ivan III, Sophia Palaeologus, the wives of Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great's mother Natalia Naryshkin and many other royal personages were buried.

In 1929, the convent was completely destroyed by the Soviet authorities. However, the experts managed to make architectural measurements and photographic images and the graves were moved to the Archangel Cathedral. Today they discuss the plans of the restoration of the monastery.