Бюро путешествий и экскурсий "АБМ"
Москва, м. Цветной бульвар
Малый Сухаревский пер.9 стр.1
8 (495) 728-66-42
  • Русский (RU)
  • English (UK)

Czar Cannon

View of the Czar Cannon todayThe Czar Cannon stands close to the Czar Bell. The information on its bronze barrel says that the cannon weighs 2400 poods, or nearly 39.5 tons; its barrel is 5.34 m long, 120 cm in diameter, and 890 mm in caliber; the walls are approx. 15 cm thick.

Most of the images and inscriptions on the cannon cannot be seen from the ground. On the right side of the barrel, there is an image of Feodor I on horseback, wearing his royal coronet. The inscription reads: “By the Grace of God, Czar and Great Prince Feodor Johannovich, Ruler and Monarch,” followed by another inscription, pertaining to whoever ordered the cannon made (in this case, the Czar did): “By the order of the Virtuous and Christ-loving Czar and Great Prince Feodor Johannovich, the Ruler and Monarch of the Greater Russia, and his Devout and Christ-loving Czarina and Great Princess Irina”.

On the left side, another inscription informs us that the cannon was cast in the year 7094 of the Creation, or 1586 A.D., the third year of the reign of Czar Feodor I, by cannon founder Andrei Chokhov. All this relates to the barrel only. The gun carriage on wheels, adorned with a lion head and ornament, was made two and a half centuries later: in 1835. The carriage weighs around 34.5 tons. The barrel is real bronze, but the carriage is cast iron, painted to look like bronze.

History

The Czar Cannon was built to “amaze the common folk and inspire awe in the Tartars,” who were frequent guests in Moscow, according to a historian. The idea belonged to Boris Godunov, Czar Feodor Fs brother- in-law, who ran the country de facto.

The Czar Cannon was built to “amaze the common folk and inspire awe in the Tartars,” who were frequent guests in Moscow, according to a historian. The idea belonged to Boris Godunov, Czar Feodor Fs brother- in-law, who ran the country de facto.

At the end of the 19th century, the Czar Cannon stood next to the old Kremlin barracks
At the end of the 19th century, the Czar Cannon stood next to the old Kremlin barracks with heaps of small cannonballs in front of it.
  1. Czar Feodor on horseback;
  2. The inscription saying the cannon was cast in 1586 by cannon founder Andrei Chokhov;
  3. The iron cannon carriage was designed by Alexander Briullov and manufactured in 1835.

Cast at the cannon foundry that stood on the Neglinnaya River, the cannon was designed to fire case shots, which consisted of small rocks at the time.
As Godunov had wanted, the cannon was placed next to the Lobnoe Mesto in front of the Cathedral of the Intercession of Our Lady in Red Square, where it could best exemplify the military might of Russia, and symbolically guard the Cathedral of the Intercession of Our Lady and the Spasskie Gate.
Boris Godunov’s project flattered his fellow countrymen, who could now proudly say that the largest cannon in the world stood in Moscow’s Red Square. On the other hand, it was a clever publicity stunt for Godunov himself.

It is not known where the cannon was in the 17th century. In most likelihood, it had been relegated to the Kremlin backyards, where the new rulers, the Romanov Family, removed all reminders of Boris Godunov. The cannon came into limelight again in the early 1700s, when Peter I put it on display among other historical cannons in his new Arsenal.

In 1812, half of the Arsenal building was blown up by the French and the original wooden carriage of the Czar Cannon burned down.
In 1835, Nicholas I ordered historical Russian cannons to go on display outside the Kremlin barracks, and trophy cannons captured from various enemies, arranged in a row in front of the Arsenal. The Czar Cannon, and the Kremlin’s longest ever cannon, called “Unicorn,” took a place of prominence at the corner of Senate Plaza.

The carriages were designed by the architect Alexander Briullov, the brother of Karl Briullov the artist. The carriages were manufactured at the shipyard in St. Petersburg. Placed on a carriage again, the Czar Cannon looked as majestic and imposing as ever.

© 2000-2020 ООО "Бюро путешествий и экскурсий "АБМ". Информация на сайте носит информационный характер и не является публичной офертой.