The bell tower of Ivan the Great was built in 1858, and the architect from Bon Fryazin was in charge of the construction. Its name was given to the bell in honor of the name of St. Jonas Ladder. It is he who is dedicated to the church, which stood from one thousand three hundred and twenty-ninth year, and which had to be dismantled for the construction of a new bell tower.
The new bell tower did not have enough bells, and therefore in the year fifteen-thirty-two, a large belfry was built nearby, with fairly wide spans for large bells.
In the year 1600, during the lifetime of Boris Godunov, the bell tower was additionally built up. And its height reached eighty-one meters. And in honor of the completion of the third tier the elegant inscription was placed under the dome: “By the sanction of the Holy Trinity, by the command of the Grand Sovereign Tsar and Grand Duke Boris Fedorovich (All Rus, the autocrat and the son of his great sovereign prince Prince), Fyodor Borisovich of all Russia, this temple is perfect and plaited in the second summer of their state in 7108 from the creation of the world. “
At that time the bell tower was the tallest building in all of Moscow, and in honor of it it was given the name of Ivan the Great. The bell tower of Ivan the Great lost its palm in the end of the nineteenth century to the Cathedral of Christ the Savior.
In the year eighteen and twelve, when the French troops retreated, Napoleon ordered to blow up the bell tower. A powerful explosion shook the red square and the neighborhood. Strangely enough, only the belfry collapsed and the building next to it. But the bell tower itself was not damaged. Various buildings of the cathedral square were united into one with the help of the Pillar of Ivan the Great. As Alexander Herzen wrote: “The pillar of Ivan the Great, like a prince, constantly guarding the peace of the Kremlin.”