Tsar-kolokol (King-BELL) | 4Walks
Tsar-kolokol (King-BELL)
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Tsar-kolokol represents a remarkable monument to Russian foundry art of XVIII century. It mounts at the pedestal located at the east side of the bell-tower of Ivan the Great.

It was forged in 1733-1735 on the command of Anna Ivanovna empress by hereditary casters an craftsmen of bell-making of Moscow I.F. Motorin and his son, Mikhail. It is the biggest bell in the world at present moment. It weights almost 202 tons, it's height is 6.14 meters and diameter is 6.6 meters.  

Famous craftsman I.F. Motorin, who have forged 115 artillery barrels on the command of Peter the Great in 1702, as well as few bells of the Kremlin, including Nabatniy bell, was invited to make Tsar-bell after the failure attempt by Royal French engineer Germeneau.

The history of its making is connected with multiple difficulties, failures and disasters. The Bell underwent shaping and casting procedures in the special pit, dug at the Ivanovskaya Square, to the east from the bell-tower.  Wood-carving craftsmen V. Kobelev, P. Galkin, P Kokhtev, P. Serebryakov and shaping expert P. Lukovnikov were summoned from Saint-Petersburg to create ridged ornament decoration of The Bell.  Only recently the name of its sculptor was recovered - F. Medvedev, educated in Italy. Preparatory works took almost two years. Only in 1734 the metal melting activities began in specially organized furnaces. However, soon the leakage of metal from furnaces was revealed and the process had to be stopped. The leakage has caused fire, which destroyed wooden elevating constructions, erected above The Bell. Operations were restarted after the elimination of consequences of this disaster but in 1735 craftsman I. F. Motorin had passed away and  the termination of work was entrusted to his son.

In November, 1735 forging of Tsar-bell was successfully completed, but it reined in the pit for an unknown reason, where it has suffered an extreme fire known as Troitskiy, which occurred in Kremlin in May, 1737.  Thermal shock was caused by water hitting the heated surface of The Bell during the extinguishing of fire which led to its cracking. A piece weighting 11.5 tons has braken off.  

Multiple attempts to retrieve The Bell from the pit has failed. At last, in 1836 this work was entrusted to French architect from Saint-Petersburg O. de Montferrand who has worked out the project of elevating device and special stone pedestal for Tsar-bell. After first lifting, failed due to the break of several ropes, the mechanism was upgraded and The Bell retrieved from the pit and installed at the octagon pedestal made of sandstone. This perfect example of foundry art is still located there.  

Besides unique dimensions, The Bell is notable by the beauty of its shape and delicate sculpting decorations: bas-reliefed portraits of Tsar Alexey Mikhailovich and Empress Anna Ivanovna, and the bandelets and cartouches with baroque-style ornament resembling the saints and the angels, and containing inscriptions about the history of the creation of The Bell.