The Senate Tower

Construction start / opening date: 1491

Architect: Pietro Antonio Solari

Original name: Senate tower

The Senate Tower is one of the buildings included in the architectural complex of the Moscow Kremlin. It is located between the Nikolskaya and Spasskaya towers and is one of the first Kremlin buildings.


The Kremlin Senate Tower was erected at the beginning of the fifteenth century (during the era of Ivan III). The work was supervised by the architect Pietro Antonio Solari, who came specially from Italy. And in 1680, while carrying out work on the modernization of the Kremlin, it was completed. Above the base, mashikuli were created – special loopholes intended for shelling the enemy from above. They were decorated with a parapet, and a see-through stone tent was erected over it. It ended with a small four, decorated with a gilded weather vane. After the reconstruction, the height of the tower was 34 meters. In the future, no improvements were made to this sight of Moscow – from the seventeenth century to the present day, its appearance has not undergone changes.


The Senate Tower – blank and square, consists of the following figures: three parallelepipeds, a truncated quadrangular and hexagonal pyramids. During the restoration according to the project of M.F. Kazakov, a statue of George the Victorious was installed on the dome, which favorably emphasized the compositional connection with Red Square. Externally, the tower is not much different from the Commandant, Nabatnaya and Armory towers. The graves of the leaders of the Soviet state are located at the foot. The tower has three tiers inside, each with square rooms. There is also a small one-story house here. It is believed that it contained the entrance to the escalator, which was intended for the decrepit L. Brezhnev.


From the first day of its existence, the Senate Tower of the Moscow Kremlin had exclusively defensive functions. From the side of Red Square, it blocked the approaches to the Kremlin. Today the tower is a historical site, which attracts thousands of tourists every year. You can get here on certain days, the time of visits is also regulated.

Senate tower in the XX century

During the 1917 revolution, the Senate Tower was not damaged. When the Bolsheviks came to power, it underwent minimal changes. A year later, a memorial plaque “To the Fallen in the Struggle for Peace and Brotherhood of Nations” by the sculptor Konenkov was erected on this Kremlin tower. Later, during the restoration, it was removed and transferred to the jurisdiction of the Museum of the Revolution.

In 1930, the famous Mausoleum was built near the walls of the tower, and eighteen years later a special passage was made to it. A secret passage was arranged so that the government had free access to the stands, which were used for performances at various celebrations and parades.

Between the Tsarskaya and Senate towers is the Spasskaya Tower – the main one on the territory of the Moscow Kremlin.

Interesting Facts

  • Initially, the tower had no name. Only after the construction of the Senate building by the architect Kazakov (1787) did it receive a name that has survived to our times.
  • The Senate Tower as a landmark of the Moscow Kremlin is recognized as an architectural monument.