Bridge Tower (Izmailovo)

MostovayaToweris located on the inner bank of the Serebryany (Silver) or Izmailovo pond and represents a surviving part of a unique stone bridge once crossing the pond and leading to theIzmailovoIslandfrom the Vladimirskaya road. A wide water circle formed around the island by the Serebryany and Vinogradny (Grapes) ponds as well as the guarded stone bridge with a big tower on which an alarm bell was installed ensured strong security of the Tsar’s Izmailovo estate in the XVII century.

Mostovaya tower executed two functions: it was used as a guarding fort and as the bell tower of the Intercession Cathedral. Besides, a clock was installed on it. The stone bridge (106 x10.6 m) came from the outer bank of the Serebryany pond to the inner bank whereMostovayaTowerwas located standing very close to the water. At the ground level of the tower there was a thoroughfare passage leading to the Intercession Cathedral and a driveway leading to the Serebrikha Mill.

As a result of earthworks held at the beginning of the 1980s fragments of the bridge tiers that adjoined the tower wall were discovered on the southern façade of the tower. For the sake of the monument’s integrity the dig pitches were filled up.

Both the bridge and the MostovayaTowercan be seen in greatest detail on the engraving Izmailovo made by I. Zubov in 1728-29. The engraving depicts a 3-storeyed tower that has a tented roof adorned with a double-headed eagle in the centre of the composition. The 14-span stone bridge adjoins the tower driveway from the south and a white stone wall looking like a dam adjoins it from the east. Beside the wall one can see a complex of household structures that make up a closed courtyard. A high stone barn with a high basement and a porch stands out among all other household structures. The whole complex, including the barn, may have been related to the Serebrikha Mill. Yet it is possible that on the right part of the engraving I. Zubov painted the Store Yard that could have been located to the east from the Intercession Cathedral according to the Izmailovo register list of 1678. This issue is highly questionable as the spacing between the elements on this part of the engraving is not exact.

The bridge started to deteriorate at the end of the 1730s when maintaining repair works held in the premises of Izmailovo were stopped. In 1767, the bridge was deconstructed and theMostovayaTowerhad not been repaired till the 1840s. The estate regained its significance when in 1837, Emperor Nicolas I decided to build a military alms-house in Izmailovo, ancient patrimonial estate of the Romanov family.

In the 1920s, a working quarter named after Nikolay Bauman (Gorodok imeni Baumana) was built on theIzmailovoIsland. As a result, tower passages were blocked, bells and the double-headed eagle were removed while the apertures in the octagon were turned into windows. The ground floor of the tower served as a store while the first and second floors were used as living premises. In 1946-1950 and the 1980s, repair and restoration works of the monument were held. In 2000-2006,MostovayaTowerbecame part of theStateHistoricalMuseumand in 2007, it was submitted under the jurisdiction of the Moscow State Integrated Museum-Reserve.