Tsar Bell

The Tsar Bell and the Tsar Cannon are major tourist attractions. No one knows why exactly Empress Anna Ioannovna decided to order a 200 ton bell, but after 18 months of preparations, on November 25, 1735 the six-metre (19-feet) bell was cast. As soon as the bell cooled off, the chisellers got to work and spent the next two years decorating it. It was still in a pit, standing on an iron grate, when a big fire broke out in 1737: the wooden dome over the pit burned and, legend has it, the bell fell to the bottom of the pit, which caused a large piece to chip off. Both parts spent the next 100 years in the pit, until the engineers and architects came up with a way to get them out. The bell was never rung – it is impossible due to its weight and structural features. For the same reason no shot was ever made from the bronze Tsar Cannon, the barrel of which has a diameter of 120 centimetres (4 feet).