The Kalyazin Bell Tower is a 244 feet Neoclassical campanile over the waters of the Volga River opposite the old town of Kalyazin, in Tver Oblast, northwestern Russia. Kalyazin is a small town with a population of around 14,000 people.
This town is 200km from Moscow and 160km from Tver. The steeple belfry was built in 1796 as part of the Monastery of St. Nicholas. Of its 12 bells, the largest weighed some 17,000kg. Kalyazin Bell Tower is also known as Nikolsky Cathedral Bell Tower, & Flooded Belfry.
It was cast in 1895 to commemorate the coronation of Nicholas II of Russia. In 1939, Joseph Stalin ordered to construction Uglich Dam, then the old parts of Kalyazin & architectural monuments were flooded and submerged under the Ulich reservoir. This includes medieval structures, Saint Nicholas Monastery, and Troitsky Makariev Monastery.
In present days, katholikon was taken apart, while the campanile was left, a landmark towering above the water. The Kalyazin Bell Tower structure was severed as a marker for ships and sailors traveling the nearby towns. However, occasionally this tower was also used by Orthodox Christian ceremonies. You can still see the majestic Bello tower standing robustly rising from the water and in pursuit of the modernization of Russia.
You will be a little bit disappointed to see the empty inside of the tower as fixtures and furniture were removed immediately before the water levels rose. Whereas originally just a tower, it has been filled in a bit and reinforced to give it more of an island stance. The average depth of 5 meters as deep as 23 m in some spots, as most of the buildings, were damaged and covered by water.
Kalyazin Bell Tower is now becoming a popular tourist attraction, as visitors come to see the iconic ancient tower and marvel at the many centuries-old structures. A small boat dock on the outside to facilitate the visitors.
It also entices the swimmers to have dipped in the water. If you are going to this small beautiful city, then make a plan to see this bell tower of the pre-Staling history of the USSR. In Kalyazin you can also, see the Kremlin, Red Square, the Mariinsky Theatre, and glimpses of everyday life in the USSR.