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April 16, 2021 12:58 pm

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Photo by M. Denisov.

The work on the preservation of a unique example of Moscow architecture of the last third of the 17th century lasted for two years.

A large-scale restoration of the external decoration and facades of the Bridge Tower of the Tsar’s estate on Izmailovsky Island has been completed. A striking example of Moscow architecture of the last third of the 17th century is located at the following address: the town named after Bauman, building 1, building 4. The restoration lasted for two years, during which time experts have completely returned the building to its historical appearance. All work was carried out under control Moscow City Heritage.

The Bridge Tower is a federal cultural heritage site. The first mention of the construction of the bridge and the tower is in the documents of the Order of Secret Affairs for 1673. Construction was carried out simultaneously with the construction of the Intercession Cathedral and continued until 1679. The three-tiered brick building was built by several architects, including M. Ivanov, I. Kuznechik, T. Makarov, K. Mymrin, A. Fomin and Ya. Yanov.

“The restoration of the exterior and facades of the Mostovaya Tower of the Izmailovo estate has been completed. The final point was the ascent to a height of 32 meters and the installation of a gilded copper eagle on the top of the tower, acting as a weather vane. The design of the eagle is made in such a way that the figure of the bird rotates in the wind, while the crown and cross that crowns it remain static. Work on its reconstruction lasted a little less than a year. It was recreated from the surviving fragments of the eagle that had previously crowned the Sukharev Tower, built in the same period as the Mostovaya Tower, engravings, historical references and photographs. It took about 60 grams of gold to gilt it, ”said the head of the Department of Cultural Heritage

Alexey Emelyanov.

Restorers have recreated doors and gates, windows, window grilles, restored a white-stone basement, porches and canopies above them, stairs and all decorative elements, as well as floors on the gulbische – this is the name of the gallery that surrounds the building, this is one of the characteristic elements of Russian architecture.

The greatest difficulty was the preservation and reconstruction of the lost polychrome tiles, symbolizing the Garden of Eden. It was a very long and painstaking work. There are 384 tiles on the Bridge Tower (288 are located at the end of the first tier, 96 – between the second and third tiers). During the restoration process, it turned out that the tiles of the first tier were recreated and installed by Konstantin Ton in the 1840s –1850s, as well as during the late restorations of the 1950–1980s. At the same time, it turned out that the tiles located between the third and second tiers are genuine tiles of the 17th century. Their restoration took place right on the spot.

In addition, experts put in order the masonry of the walls of the tower’s facades, recreated the historical coating of the facade (which was not carried out during the restoration in the Soviet period).

The Boyar Duma and the Senate met here: the subject of protection of the Bridge Tower on Izmailovsky Island was approvedThe history of the Izmailovo estate: how the Tsarskoe village was turned into an exemplary almshouse

Izmailovsky Island – the former royal estate, the ancestral estate of the Romanovs. The tower was part of an arched stone bridge over the Serebryany (Izmailovsky) pond, through which the estate was entered from the side of the Vladimir road (now the Entuziastov highway). Over time, the bridge fell into disrepair and was dismantled in 1767. Now the island is part of the Moscow State United Museum-Reserve (Izmailovo territory).

The bridge tower was the first building where the Boyar Duma sat. There is another significant historical fact. It was here, in Izmailovo, in the Mostovaya Tower, on the banks of the Serebryanka River and Serebryano-Vinogradny Pond, that the decision was made to create a Russian fleet.

The bridge tower is built of red bricks, and its facades are decorated with white decorative elements. Each tier has its own decoration. For example, at the corners and at the passage arches of the first tier, you can see triple semi-columns with flat capitals. The parapets of the gulbische and the third tier are decorated with a frieze (decorative belt) with colored tiles. The tiles depict birds of paradise among leaves, fruits and flowers. Eight windows on the second tier of the tower are expressively decorated: their side frames are made in the form of carved half-columns of cut brick, and on top – in the form of kokoshniks made of white stone. The lintels of the window openings are decorated with hanging weights.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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