The Kutafya Tower
Initially, the tower was surrounded by a moat and was the only access to the city through its lift bridge. The tower had two combat tiers, the upper landing equipped with arrowslits and machicolations, which made it a formidable obstacle to the besieging of the fortress.
Marking today the main public entrance to the Kremlin, the Kutafya tower was modified several times through the centuries:
- in the 16th and 17th centuries, a system of dikes was built to raise the water level of the Neglinnaya river and create a moat that surrounded the tower from all sides, making its drawbridge the only entry point from the city;
- In 1668 a causeway leading through the tower to the Troitskaya Bridge was built;
- a delicate ornamental crown in the Muscovite baroque style was built in 1685;
- the divider between the two tiers was destroyed in 1780;
- in 1867, a through-passage to the Manezhnaya Street was built as well as the arched apertures on the sides and a guard house on the south side;
- the guard house was dismantled during the restoration works of carried out in 1974-77.
The Kutafya Tower is currently 13.5 m high; it used to be 18 m when the lower part of the tower was not covered.