Borovitskaya Tower

Dimensions: height to the star 50.7 m, with a star 54.05 m

Construction start / opening date: 1490

Architect: Peter Fryazin (Pietro Solari)

Original name: Borovitskaya tower

Borovitskaya Tower is located in the southwest of the Moscow Kremlin. It offers a stunning view of the Stone Bridge. In turn, the tower can be admired from the side of the Alexander Garden.

History reference

The Kremlin’s Borovitskaya Tower is the ninth in a row. It was built by Pyotr Fryazin in 1490. The height of the structure reaches 54 meters with the star. The chronicle says that earlier on the site of the tower there was another building, which was named in the same way.

In 1658, the tower was renamed the Forerunner, after the Church of the Nativity of the Forerunner. But soon it was returned to its former name. Initially, it arose due to the location of the tower – it stands on Borovitsky Hill.

According to another legend, craftsmen from Borovsk were engaged in its construction, therefore it is named after them. Another version is that the tower is named after one of the seven hills on which Moscow stands – Borovitsky.


The base of the Borovitskaya Tower of the Moscow Kremlin is formed by a quadrangle, the top of which is decorated with a wooden tent. In the years 1666-1680, the tent was removed and three more fours were built, each of which decreases upward, an octahedron and a stone tent.

As a result, the tower received a peculiar stepped shape. On the side, a diverter arrow and a passage gate were attached. The gate was equipped with an iron lattice, and a drawbridge was thrown across the Neglinka.

In the eighteenth century, this landmark of Moscow was adorned with white stone details made in a pseudo-Gothic style. During the war with the French in 1812, the tower was seriously damaged – as a result of an explosion, the top of the tent fell from it. The reconstruction was carried out in 1816-1819 under the direction of the architect Bove.

In 1848 Borovitskaya Tower became a church, and all the pseudo-Gothic decorations were destroyed. Other decorative elements disappeared during renovations in the 1860s. A century later, white stone decorations were restored, and a shield was installed above the gate, on which the coat of arms of Moscow was painted. In 1935, a red star with a hammer and sickle appeared on the tower. Two years later – a ruby ​​star. Another renovation took place in the summer of 2006.

Internal layout

There are five tiers in the Borovitskaya Tower. They are connected by a system of stairs built into the north and east walls. The main quadrangle is covered with cylindrical vaults. From the first tier you can go to the basement – it is partially filled up, on the second there are elements of the decor of the former church.

The second quadrangle is covered with a closed vault and has formwork for windows. Two more fours, as well as an octagon and a tent, are combined into one room.

Borovitskaya Tower Gate

The outlet arrow of the tower has a triangular shape and is connected to the basement of the main quadrangle. There are narrow openings above the gate, in which the chains of the drawbridge over the Neglinka were previously located. In the doorway you can see vertical grooves for a special lowering grille. Borovitsky Gate is considered the most ancient in the Kremlin Palace. They have preserved old images of coats of arms, the origin of which has not been established.

Borovitskaya metro station

The nearest metro station to the tower is Borovitskaya. The distance between them is about 450 meters. During the construction of the metro, a brick house was found in almost perfect condition. It was built in the sixteenth century, and it fell into the ground due to a sinkhole. All things and furniture have been preserved inside. The easiest way to get to the Kremlin’s Borovitskaya Tower is by metro. The main landmarks are Borovitskaya Square and Alexander Garden.

Surrounding area

Next to the Borovitskaya Tower is the Armory – Museum of the Moscow Kremlin. The building was built in 1547 and used to be called the Great Treasury. Inside is the Diamond Fund, which contains unique metals and precious stones of historical value.

Interesting Facts

  • In 1969, near the Borovitskaya tower on L.I. Brezhnev, an attempt was made.
  • There is an opinion that an underground passage passes under the gates of this sight of the Kremlin.
  • Another tower of the Kremlin – the Tatar queen Syuyumbike – looks like the Borovitskaya Tower.
  • The flag of a foreign state located next to the Borovitsky Gate indicates that the head of this state has arrived in the Kremlin.