Complete Moscow Kremlin Tour - 39 of 70. Looking back at the belfry. Assumption (Dormition) cathedral (left), Ivan the Great bell tower of Moscow Kremlin right). The bell tower was built because all the Kremlin cathedrals had no belfries. This tower was built in 1508 and is 81 m (266 ft) tall. For many centuries it was the tallest construction in Moscow. The naming Ivan is explained by the fact that the bell tower was built in place of the church of St. Ivan of the Ladder (that saint is also known as John of the Ladder, John Scholasticus and John Sinaites). The tower consists of three octagonal sections, topped with a golden dome and 7 meters tall cross. The walls of the ground floor are 5 meters thick. In order to get to the skydeck you have to get over 329 steps.