9 Fast Facts About The Kremlin Stars In Moscow

The iconic and distinctive red stars that adorn the towers of the Kremlin are some of many of Moscow’s symbols, however only few people know about how they came to be there and their history.

In 2015 the stars were celebrated for reaching the milestone of 80 years as part of Moscow's skyline. Let's now take a look as some fascinating and fun facts about these iconic Russian symbols and how they survive today.

  1. Each of four towers of the Moscow Kremlin were originally decorated with two headed eagles up until the 1930's when a team of restoration specialists headed up by Igor Grabarya decided the pre-revolutionary figures did not have any historical value, and should therefore be replaced.

  2. So it was that on August 23rd in the year 1935 the two headed eagles were all replaced with five-pointed stars. The eagles were sadly then melted down for scrap and today they only remain in historic photographs.

  3. There were a total of two attempts before the design of the stars was finalized. Comrade Stalin rejected the first version, developed by Yevgeny Lansere - consequently the artist was taken off the project.

  4. The red copper gilded structures were adorned with 7,000 polished stones of topaz and amethyst. It was said, that the stars would shine in the sun as if supernatural.


  1. Each star of the Kremlin weighs approximately one ton and as a consequence, the once dilapidated towers (which could have collapsed under their weight) were fortified and restored to accommodate the weight of each star.

  2. The stars remained on the towers for a total two years however due to the harsh weather conditions, they darkened in a short period of time and were then replaced.


  1. The five new stars (a fifth, installed on the Vodovzvodnaya Tower and added to the original four) were created by the chief artist of the Bolshoi Theater, Fyodor Fyodorovsky. He suggested making the stars contours more proportional in comparison to each other.

  2. The two biggest stars, located on the Spasskaya and Nikolskaya Towers respectively are 3.75 meters or 12.3 feet in length. The stars we made of ruby glass allowing them to shine more brightly, and both were manufactured in differing sizes to appear to the naked eye to be the same size and dimensions.

  3. In the history of the Kremlin stars, only twice have they stopped shining. The first was during the Second World War when the entire Kremlin was camouflaged from the years 1941 to 1945 to hide it from bombs. The second was when Oscar-winning director Nikita Mikhalkov was shooting a scene from his film 'The Barber of Siberia' in the Kremlin.

Sandra Hawkins

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