Military Review

"And the star with the star says ..."

"And the star with the star says ..."


Judging by the documents, for the first time the two-headed eagle was placed on the high tent of the Spasskaya Tower as early as the kingdom of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich Tishayshy - Father Peter I. It is worth bearing in mind that originally the Kremlin towers did not have tent roofs and upper decorative tiers: they carried a purely utilitarian fortification function and there were no decorations above the upper battle ground. But already in the 1624 year, during the reign of Tsar Mikhail Fedorovich, the Spasskaya Tower was built on to install a clock mechanism; The construction work, including the installation and adjustment of the chiming clock, was carried out by the English master Christopher Galloway. And with the next king on the top of the tent of the stone superstructure of the Spasskaya Tower appears the emblem of the Russian state - a two-headed eagle. Alas, its appearance and description are not preserved.

By the beginning of the XIX century, the eagles were adorned already on the Spasskaya, Nikolskaya, Troitskaya and Borovitskaya travel towers. However, the latter were built gradually, therefore, approximately once a century, the eagles on the towers were changed. Sometimes it happened more often, and not only because of disrepair. The Kremlin, like the rest of Moscow, often burned. In the fires burned down the internal wooden tiers, stairs. Often the fire did not spare the spiers of the towers. So, judging from the inventories, one Kremlin eagle was "destroyed" during the terrible "Trinity" 1737 fire of the year.

As a result, by the beginning of the twentieth century, four eagles, set at different times, made by different craftsmen and distinctly different from each other, soared over Moscow. The oldest was an eagle crowning the Trinity Tower. It was installed in the 1870 year and consisted of separate parts. When mounting it was collected directly on the tent spire. And in the 1935 year, when the decision was implemented to replace the "old-mode" characters with five-pointed stars, it was the only eagle that could not be removed entirely, but had to be disassembled at the top of the spire.

The last renewal of the imperial eagles took place in 1896, and was timed to coincide with the holy wedding ceremony of the last Russian emperor Nicholas II.


They tried to change the symbol of the Russian empire for the symbol of the new Soviet power several times. In the years of the civil war, the chairman of the Council of People's Commissars V.I. Lenin. However, in conditions of total economic collapse, the wish of the leader of the revolution was not fulfilled. And only 23 August 1935, the decision of the Council of People's Commissars and the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) to replace the old characters with new ones. Immediately after this, a TASS message was issued, informing the Soviet people: "... on 7 in November 1935 to remove the 4 eagle on the towers of the Kremlin wall and the 2 eagle from the building of the Historical Museum. By the same date, it was decided to install five-pointed on the Kremlin towers the stars with the sickle and the hammer. "

At the same time, it was decided to show new stars to Muscovites: the show was held in October in the Park of Culture and Rest. Gorky. Moreover, after the dismantling of 18 in October of the old imperial symbols, they were also presented in the 23 park of October for public display. And the very next day, a metal star with crossed sickle and hammer, decorated with Ural gems, was raised to the Spasskaya Tower. The whole operation took less than an hour: the beginning of the climb in 12.40, the installation on a special wind vane mechanism in 13.30.

On October 25, the same operation was repeated on the Trinity Tower, and by 27, the stars were hoisted on Nikolskaya and Borovitskaya.

The design and manufacture of new Kremlin symbols was entrusted to the Central Aero-Hydrodynamic Institute. Professor N.E. Zhukovsky with the participation of two Moscow defense plants. Sketches claimed I.V. Stalin. Interestingly, the first stars were visually different from each other. Thus, the rays of the Trinity Star were decorated with ears. For Borovitskaya tower produced a double star. The most modest was a star on the Nikolskaya Tower, the rays of which were made of polished metal.

Nikolskaya star (along with Spasskaya) turned out to be the biggest. The distance between the beams was 4,5 meters. The weight of the steel bearing frame, lined with metal sheets and decorated with Ural stones, reached tons. The design was a steel frame made of stainless steel, sheathed with sheets of red copper and covered with gold leaf. Ural gems and semiprecious stones such as alexandrites, amethysts, rock crystal, topazes, aquamarines, etc. were installed into the frame.


However, the new characters was prepared for a short century. Already the first two winters showed that due to the aggressive influence of Moscow rains and snow, both the Ural gems and gold leaf covering metal parts faded. In addition, the stars were disproportionately large, which was not revealed at the design stage. After their installation, it became immediately clear: visually, the characters are absolutely not in harmony with the slender tents of the Kremlin towers. Stars literally suppressed the architectural ensemble of the Moscow Kremlin. And already in 1936, the Kremlin decided to design new stars. Sketches prepared by renowned theater artist and decorator, People's Artist of the USSR, academician FF. Fedorovskiy. He was the one who had the idea to use a special ruby ​​glass instead of metal for decorating star rays. He redefined the shape, size and pattern of stars.

In May, the Kremlin's 1937 was decided to replace metallic stars with ruby ​​stars with powerful internal illumination. Moreover, Stalin made a decision to install such a star on the fifth Kremlin tower - Vodovzvodnaya: from the new Big Stone Bridge a stunning view of this slim and very architecturally harmonious tower was opened. And it became another very winning element of the "monumental propaganda" of the era.

Another fundamental solution was proposed by the same academician F.F. Fedorovskiy. In order for the stars to look the same from the ground, they were made of different sizes, depending on the height at which they were mounted. The smallest one was designed for a relatively low Vodovzvodnaya tower - the distance between the ends of the rays of the entire 3 meter. Troitskaya and Borovitskaya stars are already larger - 3,5 and 3,2 meters, respectively. But on the Spasskaya and Nikolskaya towers, the stars reach the 3,75 meter, which, however, is distinctly smaller than the first metallic stars.

For Kremlin stars, 500 square meters of special three-layer ruby ​​glass were welded. At the base of each star, powerful bearings were installed so that they could rotate under the pressure of the wind. But unlike the weather vane, indicating where the wind is blowing, the stars, thanks to the diamond-shaped cross section, are always located facing it. And at the same time, as practice has shown, they are capable of withstanding the pressure of the most powerful hurricane.

These are the stars we see over the Kremlin today. In 2015, work began on the restoration and modification of the technical support of the stars. On the Spasskaya Tower in February 2015, a new system of illumination and swivel mount appeared, which, however, was not noticeable visually from Red Square. And in the fall, the restoration of the Trinity Tower and its stars began.
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  1. zennon
    zennon 4 October 2015 01: 07
    Here is a star from the Nikolsky tower of 1935 (clickable):
    1. Karabanov
      Karabanov 4 October 2015 13: 01
      For me personally, stars on the tower are preferable to eagles.
      But disposing of old imperial symbols is probably not the wisest decision. It could well be given to the museum ...
  2. zennon
    zennon 4 October 2015 01: 12
Lamps for the Kremlin stars were developed at the Moscow Electric Lamp Plant. The power of three - at the Spasskaya, Nikolskaya and Troitskaya towers - 5000 watts, and 3700 watts - at Borovitskaya and Vodovzvodnaya. Each contains two filaments connected in parallel. If one burns out, the lamp continues to burn, and the control panel receives a signal about a malfunction. The mechanism for changing the lamps is interesting: you don't even have to go up to the star, the lamp goes down on a special rod directly through the bearing. The whole procedure takes 30-35 minutes. You can see the lamps in the Polytechnic Museum in Moscow. A wonderful museum, I highly recommend visiting. Photo from there (clickable).
  3. atos_kin
    atos_kin 4 October 2015 10: 37
    If only the "creators" with their "cut star" would not ruin the Star!
    1. RUSS
      RUSS 5 October 2015 16: 47
      Quote: atos_kin
      If only the "creators" with their "cut star" would not ruin the Star!

      Late, photo from 05.10.15/XNUMX/XNUMX.
  4. PlotnikoffDD
    PlotnikoffDD 4 October 2015 10: 38
    It is strange that the "new government" has not yet changed the stars back to eagles!
  5. Antropos
    Antropos 4 October 2015 12: 56
    Incidentally, the rotary mechanisms were made at the Obukhov plant in St. Petersburg.
  6. Atigay
    Atigay 4 October 2015 14: 13
    I am very glad that this beauty has remained. I remember my first impression in 1974. The night, the unbearable book beauty and grandeur of the Kremlin with the stars above. Such beauty and grandeur do not exist in any capital of the world.
  7. ivanovbg
    ivanovbg 4 October 2015 14: 39
    To the right of the entrance to the park of the Museum of Socialist Art in Sofia is the original red star - a symbol of socialism and communism in the People's Republic of Bulgaria, which from 1954 to 1984 years towered over the Party House - the seat of the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party in the center of Sofia.

    The red star No. 1 was placed on the tower of the Party House in Sofia in 1954. Decision No. 648 of the Central Committee of the BKP from 25 on July 1984 approved the design and installation of a new star - the so-called “Star No. 2”. Her project was based on the design of the Kremlin stars in Moscow. The purchase, delivery and installation of the new star were carried out by the Bulgarian foreign trade organization Tekhnoimportexport.

    Star No. 2 is made of synthetic ruby. According to the design estimates of Soviet specialists, its diameter should have been 3 meters, its supporting part (spire) should have a height of 2 m, and its weight should not exceed 1,2 tons. In fact, the star was made with a diameter of 2,5 m. Bulgarian designer - professor of architecture Ivan Ivanchev. The maximum thickness in the center was 700 mm. Inside the star was supposed to be a light source with a power of 5000 watts. The luminous flux was distributed evenly through all facets by a volume refractor from the mirrors. The individual facets were 800 by 300 mm. The star was designed for operation at an air temperature of −27,5 оС to + 37,4 оС.

    Gold plating of a ruby ​​star was made at the Kommuna factory in Sopot, Bulgaria. The equipment was brought from the USSR. The know-how, production, packaging and additional equipment of the star, ordered in the USSR, cost 573 246 rubles. Another 14 643 rubles were budgeted for additional transportation and installation costs. [2]

    By the decision of the 39 congress of the Bulgarian Socialist Party, this star was removed from the tower of the Party House, and the flag of Bulgaria was installed in its place. Asen Panayotov, one of the leaders of the Bulgarian Socialist Party, recalls:
    “We took it off in 3 minutes, somewhere around 9 in the morning of 4 on October 1990. The helicopter transferred it to the field near the village of Dolni-Bogrov. At 5 hours the next morning, we loaded it onto a trailer of a military truck and returned it to the Party House. Due to its large size, it fit only in the garage of Todor Zhivkov. To enter the garage door, I had to lower the truck tires. We removed the gilded details of the finish of the case and transferred them under the protocol to the Bulgarian National Bank. About 2 kg of gold was obtained from them. The glass was laminated, technical, there were no rubies there. It was also filmed. The steel frame remained in the garage and was probably scrapped. ”
  8. Alf
    Alf 4 October 2015 21: 45
    For me personally, the Kremlin is always associated with a Star, not an eagle.