The Tsar Cannon is a unique item of the Kremlin’s artillery collection.
It was created in 1586 in Moscow's Cannon Court by eminent Russian cannon-caster Andrei Chokhov on the order of Tsar Feodor Ioannovich, the sovereign ruler of All Great Russia. The Tsar Cannon is located at the west side of Ivanovskaya Square, between the 'Ivan the Great' Bell Tower and the Twelve Apostles' Church.
Judging by the Tsar Cannon's calibre of 890 mm, it was given its name as the world’s biggest cannon. The gun's tube's weight is about 40 ton, its length is 5,34 m. The cannon's surface is adorned with the cast figured friezes, vegetation ornament, memorial inscriptions and an equestrian image of Tsar Feodor Ioannovich. In 1835, the Tsar Cannon was fixed on the carriage specially cast for it at the Berdt’s factory in St. Petersburg. Four hollow decorative cannonballs were made at the same time.
The Tsar Cannon has never shot. Mostly of symbolic impact, it was never used in a war.
Initially, the Tsar Cannon was fixed on Red Square near the Spasskiye Gate. In 1706, it was moved into the Kremlin, fixed at first in the Arsenal’s inner yard and then at the main gate (with another cannon). In 1835, the two cannons were staged on the new bases, specially cast on the project of A. Bryullov. In 1843, the Tsar Cannon and other old Russian cannons were placed in front of the Armoury Chamber’s old building in the opposite of the Arsenal. The captured cannons were left by the Arsenal.
In 1960, when the Palace of Congresses (now it is called the State Kremlin Palace) was under construction, the building of the Armoury Chamber (architect I. Yegotov) was dismantled. The old cannons were transferred to the Arsenal building. Later the Tsar Cannon was fixed on its present-day place. The Tsar Cannon, its base and cannonballs were renovated in the 1970s.