9 How were the Kremlin stars made and set

How were the Kremlin stars made and set


In August 1935, the Council adopted the decision of Council of People’s Commissars and the Central Committee of the AUCP (b) to replace the old symbols with new ones.

Before this historic moment, the spires of the Kremlin towers were decorated with heraldic double-headed eagles. First double-headed eagle hoisted on top of the tent of the Spasskaya Tower in the 50s of the XVII century. Later Russian emblems were installed at the highest Kremlin towers – Nikolskaya, Troickaya, Borovitskaya. In October 1935 instead of the king’s two-headed eagles were placed five-pointed stars.

It was offered to replace armorial eagles with the flags, as on the other tower and with the emblems of the hammer and sickle and with the coats of arms of the Soviet Union but they chose stars.

They tried to change the symbol of the Russian Empire with the symbol of the new Soviet authorities several times. Even during the Civil War Chairperson of People’s Commissars V.I Lenin offered this. However, in conditions of a total economic collapse the wish of the leader of the revolution was not carried out.

Why did a live-pointed star became a symbol of Soviet Union is not known, but it is known that this project was lobbied by Leon Trotsky. Seriously addicted to spirituality, he knew that the star – is a pentagram that has a very powerful energy potential and is one of the most powerful symbols.

Even swastika, which cult was very strong in Russia at the beginning of the XX century could become the symbol of the new state. The swastika was depicted on the “Kerensky notes”, swastika was painted on the wall of the Ipatiev house of the Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna before shooting. But almost by a unanimous decision, Bolsheviks decided to use a five-pointed star. The history of the XX century will show that the “star” is stronger than “swastika” … The stars started shining over the Kremlin and replaced the double-headed eagles.

Parade in 1935. Eagles look on Maxim Gorky flight and spoils the holiday;)))

Only in August 23, 1935, there was adopted a resolution of the Council of People’s Commissars and the Central Committee of the AUCP (b) to replace the old symbols with new ones. Immediately after this TASS message was released – it informed the Soviet people:  replace 4 Eagle, located on the towers of the Kremlin wall, and 2 eagles on the building of the Historical Museum with five-pointed stars with a hammer and sickle until 7, November, 1935. ”

Design and production of the new Kremlin symbols were entrusted to the Central Aero-Hydrodynamic Institute of professor N.E Zhukovsky in Moscow with the participation of two defense plants. Sketches were claimed by I.V Stalin.

Sketches were prepared by E.E Lansere. In the first sketch Stalin wrote: Good, but it would be great to do it without the circle in the center, while the “without” was underlined twice. Lansere quickly fixed it and gave a new sketch for approval. Stalin once again made a remark: Good, but it would be great to do it without fastening stick, and the word “without” was again underlined twice. After this development of the sketch of stars passed to F.F.Fedorovskiy.

When sketches were created, models of stars in full size were also produced. Hammer and sickle emblems were temporarily encrusted with imitations of precious stones. Each star-model was shined with twelve projectors. That is how it supposed to be with the real stars on the Kremlin towers at night and on cloudy days. When the projectors were turned on, stars sparkled and flashed a myriad of colored lights.

Leaders of the Party and the Soviet government inspected the finished models. They agreed on the production of stars with an indispensable condition – to make them rotate, so then Muscovites and visitors may enjoy them from everywhere.

Hundreds of people of different specialties participated in the creation of the Kremlin stars. For Spasskaya and Troickaya Towers stars were produced in the workshops of CAHI led by the chief engineer of the Institute A.A. Archangelskiy, and for Nicholas and Borovitskaya – at the Moscow plants under the leadership of chief designer.

The first Kremlin stars were made of red copper and stainless steel. Special electroplating plants were built for their gilding. In the center of each star was paved with the Soviet symbol – the hammer and sickle, covered with gold and made of Ural semi-precious stones (amethyst, topaz, alexandrite, rock crystal, Aquamarine). It took about 7000 stones in size from 20 to 200 karats (one karat equals to 0,2gr).

From the report of Pauper – the employee pf Operation Division of the NKVD: “Every stone is faceted with diamond Galley (73 facets) and in order to avoid loss it was embedded into separate caste with silver screw and nut. The total weight of all stars – 5600kg. ”

The design was unique for each star. So Star on Spasskaya tower was decorated with rays from the center to the tops, star on Troickaya tower with spica. On Borovitskaya tower Star pattern repeated its contour. Star on Nikolskaya tower was without any decoration.

Stars on Spasskaya and Nikolskaya towers were similar in size. The distance between the ends of beams is 4.5 meters. Stars on Troickaya and Borovitskaya towers were smaller. The distance between the ends of beams was 4 and 3.5 meters. Weight of steel base frame, lined with metal sheets and decorated with Ural stones, reached the ton.

Stars design was developed for a load of hurricane winds. At the base of each star special bearings manufactured at the First Bearing Plant were established. Due to this, star despite the considerable weight could easily rotate and stand its front side against the wind.

Star for the Nikolskaya Tower. 1935. phjto. B.Vdovenko

Before installing the stars on the Kremlin towers, the engineers had doubts whether the tower will stand the severity of the storm and wind loads? Every star weighted an average of one thousand kilograms and had a sailing surface of 6.3 square meters. Careful studies have shown that the upper overlaps of towers and their tents were in the dilapidated state. It was necessary to strengthen the masonry of the upper floors of the towers, which would set the stars. In addition, the tents of the Spasskaya, Troicksya, and Borovitskaya towers had metallic bonds.

A tent of Nikolskaya tower was so dilapidated that it was necessary to build anew.

Now the specialists of the All-Union office of SIM L.N Schipakovym, I.V Kuneginym, N.B Gitmanom and I.I Rechetov got an important task – to pick up and set the stars on the Kremlin towers. But how to do that? The lowest of them, Borovitskaya, has a height of 52 meters, and the highest, Troickaya – 77 meters. There were no large cranes in SIM so experts have found an original solution. They designed and built a special crane which can be installed at the upper tier for each tower. At the base of the tent console was inserted into a metal base through the turret window.

The day when everything was ready to raise five-pointed stars came. But before they decided to show it to the Muscovites. October 23, 1935, the stars were delivered to the Central Park of Culture and Rest of M. Gorkiy and set on pedestals, upholstered with red cloth. In the shine of projectors sparkled Ural gems. Secretaries of city and district committees of the AUCP (b), the chairman of the Moscow City Council inspected the stars. Hundreds of Muscovites came to the park. Everyone wanted to enjoy the beauty and majesty of the stars, which would soon fly into the Moscow sky.

It was really hard to hoist the stars on the Kremlin tower. The thing was that the appropriate technology simply did not exist in 1935. The height of the lowest tower Borovitskaya – 52 meters, the highest, Troicksya – 72. There were no tower cranes of that height in the country, but the word “no” does not exist for Russian engineers, there is the word “necessary”.

Experts of SIM have found an original solution. They designed and built a special crane which can be installed at the upper tier for each tower. At the base of the tent console was inserted into a metal base through the turret window.  Thus, in several stages, first was performed a dismantling of two-headed eagles, and then hoisting of the stars.

Star for Troickaya Tower in Central Park of Culture and Rest of Gorkiy

Installation of the Kremlin stars has become a real holiday for Moscow. The stars were not transported in the night. The day before the hoisting of the Kremlin towers stars were put on display in the park of Gorkiy. However, mere mortals to see the stars come secretaries of city and district of the CPSU (b), in the light of the spotlights shone Ural gems and sparkling rays of stars. Eagles shot from the towers, installed here, clearly showing the dilapidated state of the “old” and the beauty of the “new” world.

On october 24, 1935, the first star was installed on the Spasskaya Tower. Before lifting it was carefully polished with a soft cloth. At this time, the mechanics checked winch and motor of crane.

At 12 hours and 40 minutes there was a command “Veer little!” Star went off the ground and slowly began rising. When it was at the height of 70 meters, the machine stopped. Standing on the top of the tower climbers cautiously picked up the star and sent to the spire. In 13 hours and 30 minutes, the star fell exactly on the reference pin. Witnesses recall that on that day the Red Square gathered several hundred people who were watching the operation. At the time when the star appeared on the spire, the whole crowd started cheering to the climbers.


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9 Responses to “How were the Kremlin stars made and set”

  1. Douglas says:

    Yes, the ruby glass stars were beautiful. Too bad that those stars were the symbol of something that was not beautiful.

  2. SCA says:

    Thanks for an interesting article and wonderful pictures!

  3. monosodiumglutamate says:

    History repeat itself,specially in Russia ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !.how many time we observe vicious cycle of better ruling system.Double headed eagle,Star with tools and again Double headed “Dove” ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !future will tell us how many more Things bear Kremlin walls.

  4. john dudley says:

    Just beautiful.

  5. Papa Karlo says:

    Soviets unfortunately designed many bad things, among them was the first gasenwagen – a truck where gases from exhaust was routed directly into the truck compartment where people to be executed were transported. When they arrived at the burial place, they were already dead – vast improvement comparing to the early wasteful practice where they had to be shot first. So they arrived to destination already dead, all which was left to do is just bury them.

    Another invention was to use an ordinary hammer to punch a hole in a dead prisoner’s head to make sure he is really dead and not just pretending to be dead.

    Red ruby glass stars on the Kremlin towers was another such beautiful Soviet invention.

    • Heinrich Himmler says:

      That’s all? A truck and hammer for dead folks? We superior Nazis invented far more efficient things to kill millions of people, including coultless, inferior slavs like you. Harr! harr! harr!! …..Unfortunately, we couldn’t finish the job and killed ourselves! Sh*t happens!

    • Rashomon says:

      Haha!! It appears, “Karlo” boy, that the “news” of the first space launch, first man and woman in space, never reached your strange, far away dimension!

      Not even the “news” about the American Atomic Bomb, the most efficient way to kill civilians! Please tell us more of that dark and weird place you live in.

      • Oscar Goldman says:

        When paranoid “Karlo” watches a baseball game on TV, he only thinks about that Atomic Bomb and all the people it killed in seconds. I’m sure of that.

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