Ivan the Great Bell Tower

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Ivan the Great Bell Tower

The octagonal main tower of the tallest structure in the Kremlin rises 263 feet and, according to a tradition established by Boris Godunov, no building in Moscow is allowed to rise higher. The first bell tower was erected on this site in 1329 and was replaced in the early 16th century, during the reign of Ivan the Great (hence the bell tower's name). But it was during the reign of Boris Godunov that the tower received its present appearance. In 1600 the main tower was rebuilt, crowned by an onion-shaped dome and covered with gilded copper. For many years it served as a watchtower; all of Moscow and its environs could be observed for a radius of 32 km (20 miles). The annex of the bell tower is used for temporary exhibits of items from the Kremlin collection.

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