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Ivan the Great Bell Tower

Overlooking the other religious buildings on Cathedral Square, this bell tower stands out with its size, striking design and historical significance.

Ivan the Great Bell Tower held the title of Moscow’s tallest building for more than 400 years, before it was usurped by a Stalinist skyscraper in the 1950s. Despite attempts to have it destroyed, the tower has survived Moscow’s turbulent history and is now a symbol of the city. Learn about its historical significance in the museum and take pictures of the city from its lofty viewing platform.

See the Church of Ioann Lestvichnik under the Bells, which was erected under the orders of Ivan I in 1329. The church was given a new belfry in the early 1500s, but it was architect Boris Godunov who raised the tower to its current height of 266 feet (81 meters) in the 17th century. Napoleon later tried to dynamite the bell tower but failed, an event that helped perpetuate the commonly held belief that as long as the bell tower stands, so too will Russia.

Walk toward the bell tower and you’ll immediately be struck by the scale of the huge bells decorating the white façade, as well as by its regal golden dome. Compare the Ivan the Great Bell Tower with its neighbor, the 16th-century Assumption Belfry. The two buildings have a pleasingly similar design. Both have golden domes crowning their white exteriors and designs that become progressively more elaborate as they head skyward.

Step inside and browse the bell tower’s museum on three stories of the building. Learn more about the Kremlin’s past with multimedia exhibits, which include videos and old plans of the area. Ascend to the viewing platform to get uninterrupted views of Moscow from the air.

Ivan the Great Bell Tower is located on Cathedral Square in the Kremlin, alongside other important religious monuments, such as the Church of the Annunciation and the Cathedral of the Archangel. Ride the metro to Alexandrovsky Sad station to get here. The bell tower has an entry fee and is open every day except Thursdays.


Guide to Exploring around Ivan the Great's Bell Tower


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Marriott Moscow Royal Aurora Hotel $125
Marriott Moscow Royal Aurora Hotel

Marriott Moscow Royal Aurora Hotel

11 Petrovka Street, Moscow
     
    5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Moscow City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of TsUM — Central Universal Department Store and Bolshoi Theatre. Moscow Kremlin and Red Square are also within 1 mi (2 km). Kuznetsky Bridge Station is 7 minutes by foot and Teatral'naya Station is 8 minutes.

    Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow $286
    Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow

    Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow

    Neglinnaya Street No 4, Moscow
       
      5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      This family-friendly Moscow hotel is located in the historical district, within a 5-minute walk of Maly Theatre and Bolshoi Theatre. Moscow Kremlin and Red Square are also within 15 minutes. Kuznetsky Bridge Station and Teatral'naya Station are within a 5-minute walk.

      Hotel Baltschug Kempinski Moscow $168
      Hotel Baltschug Kempinski Moscow

      Hotel Baltschug Kempinski Moscow

      Ul. Balchug 1, Moscow
         
        5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Moscow City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Zaryadye Park, Moscow Kremlin, and St. Basil's Cathedral. Red Square and Lenin's Mausoleum are also within 15 minutes. Novokuznetskaya Station is 8 minutes by foot and Tretyakovskaya Station is 10 minutes.

        Four Seasons Hotel Moscow $455
        Four Seasons Hotel Moscow

        Four Seasons Hotel Moscow

        2 Okhotny Ryad Street, Moscow
           
          5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Moscow City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of State Historical Museum and Bolshoi Theatre. Lenin's Mausoleum and Red Square are also within 10 minutes. Okhotny Ryad Station is only a 2-minute walk and Teatral'naya Station is 2 minutes.

          People Red Square Hotel $50
          People Red Square Hotel

          People Red Square Hotel

          Sofiyskaya Naberezhnaya, 30/1, Moscow
             
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Moscow City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Zaryadye Park, Moscow Kremlin, and St. Basil's Cathedral. Red Square and Lenin's Mausoleum are also within 15 minutes. Novokuznetskaya Station is 12 minutes by foot and Tretyakovskaya Station is 13 minutes.

            Veliy Hotel Mokhovaya Moscow $38
            Veliy Hotel Mokhovaya Moscow

            Veliy Hotel Mokhovaya Moscow

            Mokhovaya St., 10/1, Moscow
               
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Moscow City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Cathedral of the Archangel and Moscow Kremlin. Red Square and Kremlin Armoury Museum are also within 15 minutes. Biblioteka Imeni Lenina Station is only a 4-minute walk and Alexandrovsky Sad Station is 8 minutes.

              Hotel Metropol Moscow $129
              Hotel Metropol Moscow

              Hotel Metropol Moscow

              2 Teatralny Proezd, Moscow
                 
                5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Moscow City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Maly Theatre and Bolshoi Theatre. TsUM — Central Universal Department Store and Revolution Square are also within 10 minutes. Teatral'naya Station is 6 minutes by foot and Lubyanka Station is 6 minutes.

                Kadashevskaya Hotel $70
                Kadashevskaya Hotel

                Kadashevskaya Hotel

                26, Kadashevskaya nab., Moscow
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Yakimanka, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of State Tretyakov Gallery, St. Basil's Cathedral, and Red Square. Cathedral of Christ the Savior is 0.9 mi (1.4 km) away. Novokuznetskaya Station is 9 minutes by foot and Tretyakovskaya Station is 10 minutes.