Suyumbike Tower (Söyembikä Tower) is probably the most familiar landmark and architectural symbol of Kazan, Russia. Once the highest structure of that city’s kremlin, it used to be one of the so-called leaning towers. By the 1990s, the inclination was 198 centimeters.
Consisting of six widening tiers built on a gated arch, the 58-meter baked brick Suyumbike Tower stands as Kazan’s most iconic building
The actual age of the tower is unknown as all relevant documents were destroyed in a fire, so researchers do not agree on why it tilted. There are some assumptions about the tower’s construction years, several scholars date its construction to the turn of the 18th century when tiered towers were exceedingly popular in Russia. A legend postulates that the tower was built more than a century earlier by Ivan the Terrible’s artisans in just a week’s time.
As the legend goes, the Kazan queen Söyembikä threw herself down from the highest tier, hence the name
According to legend, after Ivan the Terrible seized Kazan, he wanted to celebrate by taking the deposed Khan’s niece, Suyumbike, as his bride. The beautiful Princess Suyumbike initially refused, saying she would only agree to marry him if he could build a tower higher than either of them had ever seen. The conquering Tsar did just that, erecting the spire in just six days. After it was completed, Suyumbike said she wanted to look out upon the city from the high tower. When she reached the top, however, the princess jumped to her death. Ivan may have taken the city but he could never have Suyumbike’s heart. Despite the dramatic origin story the tower was not actually constructed until at least 100 years after Ivan’s conquest of Kazan in 1552.