Lonely Planet review
In the late 17th century Peter the Great gifted much of the land in Basmanny to his pal Alexander Menshikov. Hidden behind the post office, this famous tower was built between 1704 and 1706 on the order of Menshikov. The tower – one of Moscow’s first baroque buildings – was originally 3m taller than the Ivan the Great Bell Tower. A thunderstorm in 1723 saw it hit by lightning and seriously damaged by fire. Trouble plagued the owner as well. Menshikov fell from grace after the death of Peter the Great, and he was exiled to Siberia. The tower was neglected. When finally repaired in the 1780s, it lost much of its height and elegance. Today, it houses the working Church of Archangel Gabriel.