Entertainment & Arts

Europe, Russia, Moscow

The Tsar Cannon (Russian: Царь-пушка) is an enormous cannon, commissioned in 1586 by Russian Tsar Feodor and cast by Andrey Chokhov. The cannon weighs 39.312 tonnes and has a length of 5.34 m (17.5 ft). Its bronze-cast barrel has a diameter of 890 mm (35.0 in), and an external diameter of 1,200 mm (47.2 in). The Guinness Book of Records lists it as the largest bombard by caliber. Along with a new carriage, the 1 ton cannonballs surrounding the cannon were added in 1835 and are larger than the diameter of its barrel; it was, in fact, designed to fire 800 kg stone grapeshot. According to legend, the cannonballs were manufactured in St. Petersburg, and were intended to be a humorous addition and a symbol of the friendly rivalry between Moscow and St. Petersburg. The cannon is decorated with reliefs, including one depicting Tsar Feodor Ivanovich on a horse. The original wooden carriage was made in the early 19th century, but it was destroyed by fire in 1812 when Napoleon descended on Moscow. The cannon is within the walls of the Moscow Kremlin next to the Tsar Bell, which is similarly massive and is the largest bell in the world (but which has never been rung). The cannon was last restored in 1980 in Dzerzhinsky Military Academy. There it was thoroughly analysed and gunpowder remains were found, indicating that the cannon was fired at least once. A replica of the cannon was made in 2002 at the Izhevsk machine-building factory. It was given to the Ukrainian city of Donetsk and now is installed near the Donetsk city administration building.