Astrakhan Kremlin (Астраханский кремль)

The Kremlin in the city of Astrakhan is an outstanding monument of the medieval Russian architecture and a military engineering masterpiece of the 2nd half of the 16th century. It took four centuries for this historical and architectural complex to take its present shape, which includes 22 military, administrative, and religious buildings.

Astrakhan kremlin

The first fortifications and a settlement on the site were built in 1557-58. A hill called Zayachiy (Hare’s Hill) was chosen for the construction. It was a perfect location for a fortress: on the western and northern sides, the hill was protected by the Volga with its channels, while on the southern and eastern side it was guarded by lakes and brackish swamps.

The first fortress was built in wood and surrounded by a rampart of beaten earth. The English traveler Jenkinson wrote that the city, positioned on the high bank of the island, centered on a kremlin (fortress), which was protected by modest (and rather rickety) walls of earth and wood. Unlike the residences of the city’s governors, most houses and buildings were ramshackle, with low ceilings.

The Astrakhan Kremlin owes its layout to the terrain. It is shaped like a right triangle, pointing south-west. Towers are located in its corners and along the sides. The longer side stretches for 665 meters, the short side for 295 meters; depending on the terrain, the walls are between 7 and 11.3 meters high and 2.8-5.2 meters thick.

The Kremlin of Astrakhan was built using masonry from the ruined city of Saray-Batu (the former Golden Horde capital), which in the 13th and 14th centuries was located upriver on the Volga, near the present-day village of Selitrennoye.

At the entrance to the Krasnye Vorota (Red Gates) tower, which used to be the main tower of the Kremlin 500 years ago, one finds stone slabs with inscriptions, installed as part of the museum’s exhibition. Going up the stairs, the visitor sees the narrow openings made for cannons and muskets, which provide a view over the inside of the Kremlin and across to the city.

A large permanent exhibition is housed in the former military warehouse. Of particular interest in the exhibit devoted to the medieval Russian way of life, which one finds upon crossing the Zeleny (Green) courtyard. Under the floor, protected by glass, are fragments of a Russian oven found during excavations.

The Astrakhan Kremlin used to serve as a trade gate into Asia. At the same time, it was a mighty and unassailable stronghold on the southern frontier. Today it constitutes the historical core of the city, which also includes a reconstructed embankment, Lenin’s street, a pedestrian street, and many parks.

Open hours and price

May, 1st – September, 30th

Tuesday – Thursday from 10 to 18

Friday – Sunday from 10 to 19

Ticket office

Tuesday – Thursday from 10 to 17.30

Friday – Sunday from 10 to 18.30

October, 1st – April, 30th

Tuesday – Sunday from 10 to 18

Ticket office

Tuesday – Sunday from 10 to 17.30

Day off – Monday and last Tuesday of each month

Ticket price 300 rub

How to get to the Astrakhan Kremlin

2, Trediakovskogo Ulitsa, Astrakhan

In the Russian language – Астрахань, ул. Тредиаковского, 2


The Astrakhan Kremlin website in the Russian language

We recommend visiting nearby


Categories: Astrakhan, history, museum

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