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Emperor Bell

Emperor BellThe largest bell in the world stands on a stone pedestal by the Secret Gardens. The bell is six meters (20 feet) high and weighs 210 tons. The surface bears portraits of czars and icons. It was designed in 1733 by Ivan Matorin and his son Mikhail for the empress Anna Ivanovna, and took two years to cast. An 11.5-ton fragment broke off during the fire of 1737, when water was thrown on it. After the fire the bell was returned to its casting pit, where it lay for a century. The architect Montferrard raised the bell in 1836. It has never been rung.

The square between the Spasskaya Tower and the Bell was known as Ivan's Square, along which government offices were located. Here criminals were flogged and officials read the czar's new decrees.

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