The Belfry (1741-69) is the Lavra's tallest building 88m high and reputed as Russia's most beautiful bell tower. Built as to classic architecture canons, the Belfry impresses with its excellently chosen 5-tier proportions, orderly elegance and harmonically compatable wall plane and arch spans. It's crowned with an unusual shell-shaped accomplishment. The clock with chimes was installed in 1905.
The Belfry was designed by architects Shumakher and Ukhtomsky, and it’s one of the tallest in Russia. It replaced the 17th-c. bell tower. Its heaviest bell weighed 65 tons. The bell choice by their tone and sound was considered superb. Before the revolution there were 42 bells. In 1930 all the big bells were thrown down and destroyed. Till 2002 there were only 23 bells. On September 4, 2002 two new Moscow-cast bells (35,5 and 27 tons) were lifted up to the 2nd tier in presence of Patriarch Alexy II. The 3rd called Tsar (72 tons) was cast in Petersburg in 2003.
The Belfry is the monastery's latest prominent building, a finale of the unique architectural ensemble. It dominates the Assembly Square as if uniting its other constructions.