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Novgorod Architecture / The Saviour Tower

The Saviour Tower

The Saviour Tower existed as a gatehouse at a very early stage. It led from the Lyudin End to a very old street called Piskuplya (Bishop's St.) in the citadel. A section of this street was unearthed during excavations in 1938. As already mentioned, the Church of the Transfiguration of Our Saviour was erected over the gatehouse in 1297 and replaced by another of the same name in 1426.

The tower has not retained much of its original appearance. The passageway, which appears to have been blocked up with earth in the 18th century, was discovered during excavations in 1937, which also revealed a stone staircase leading up to the tower's second platform. The passageway had heavy wooden gates and a portcullis. The grooves into which the portcullis was drawn up can still be seen today. The inside of the tower had six platforms. On the citadel side the tower has a tall arch which must have been formed when the gateway church was removed. Its outer, south wall has also been considerably altered. The old embrasures and loopholes were blocked up and replaced by a row of rosettes similar to those on the Court Tower and a diamond-shaped decorative band.