Italian experts constructed the present Kremlin walls and towers between 1485 and 1495. Except for three, the towers are all square in plan. The highest tower is the Troitskaya, which was erected in 1495 to its current height of 80 meters (260 feet). Originally, most towers were capped with wooden tents. The first stone tower was built by Russian engineers as part of a city fortification system designed by Italian military architects.
The Kremlin's interior has been extensively remodeled over time. The oldest parts of the Kremlin are the Cathedral of the Assumption and the Annunciation Monastery, which were built in the early 15th century on top of ancient Slavic churches. In 1514, Ivan "the Great" moved his capital from Moscow toward the south. He abandoned the old capital after only six years because of ongoing wars with Japan and Germany. The new capital was not successful either, and within eight years, he had again changed his mind and returned to Moscow. This time, he never left.
Ivan the Terrible built several new structures including the Armory Square and the Old Post Office. He also had many existing buildings repaired or rebuilt. During this period, the Russians adopted German architectural styles, especially Hanseatic League cities such as Lübeck and Novgorod. For example, the red-brick Senate building was modeled after the Lübeck Town Hall.
The Kremlin is Europe's biggest functioning fortification, with five palaces and four cathedrals. 6. In 1990, the Kremlin and Red Square were designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Except for two, the Kremlin's 20 towers all have names. They include the Ivanov Tower, named after Ivan the Great (r. 957-963); the Luzhkov Tower, named after Yury Luzhkov (b. 1945); the Malyshev Tower, named after Alexander Nevsky (1238-1314); the Mizin Tower, named after Mikhail Mizin (d. 1430); the Obolon City Palace, which serves as the headquarters of the Moscow city government.
The Kremlin consists of over 40 buildings, including halls, churches, and museums. It covers about 140 acres (0.5 km2) on three hills: Red Square is at the heart of the complex; to its south is the Upper Town, which includes the State Kremlin Palace and the Cathedral of St. Basil the Blessed; and to the west is the Lower Town, which includes the Armory Chamber and the Church of St. Nicholas Outside the Walls.
The word "kremlin" comes from Russian kreml', meaning "citadel". Before the construction of the Kremlin, Russians defended themselves from invaders by building fortified camps known as pidaras.
The Kremlin is a fortified complex in the center of Moscow, Russia, consisting of more than 15 buildings, 20 towers, and more than 1.5 miles of up to 21-foot-thick walls. It has served as the official house of Russia's president, presently President Vladimir Putin, since 1991. The complex is located on the edge of Red Square, opposite the Cathedral of Christ the Savior.
They call it the "presidents' palace" because it has been the residence of all but two Russian presidents. Now it is also where Vladimir Putin spends most of his time, except when he is traveling around Russia.
Other Italians, most notably Antonio Gislardi and Marco Ruffo, also contributed to the Kremlin's walls and towers' construction. So, if the Kremlin's walls remind you of Italian architecture, that's because they were created by Italians. This, however, was not the only thing the Italians performed in Moscow throughout the 15th and 16th centuries. They also built churches all over the city-state.
The first Italian to arrive in Russia was an ambassador from Venice named Marino Sanudo Marinoni. He was sent to Moscow in 1441 to negotiate a trade agreement with Ivan IV (the "Terrible"). After signing a treaty with the Russian ruler, Sanudo set out for home with his son but was captured by Kalmyks near the eastern border of present-day Kazakhstan and taken back to Khanate as a prisoner. He was released after paying a large ransom.
In 1483, another group of Italians arrived in Russia. This time it was three friars who came to spread the new religion of Catholicism across Russia. The Russians welcomed the news of Christ's return and allowed the priests to travel across their country preaching Christianity. But when they refused to convert to Catholicism, the rulers had them executed together with several thousand other people. This event is now remembered as the Great Pogrom or Pogrom of 1498.
In 1505, the first documented contract between an Italian builder and the Kremlin government was signed.