The building adjoining the northern wall of the ‘Ivan the Great’ was erected in 1814-1815 by architects D.Gilardi, L.Ruska and I.V.Egotov on the base of the 16th-century church destroyed in 1812. The authors aimed to recreate the look of the ancient construction, but they added elements characteristic for the early 19th century into the architectural décor of the façades. An open porch of the west façade leading to the former Church of St Nicholas was built by architect K.A.Ton in 1849-1852.
It is known that the previous building was erected by architect Petrok Maly in 1532-1539 as the Church of the Resurrection containing the bell chamber and was completed in 1543-1552 after his departure from Moscow. In 1555 the Church was renamed in the Nativity Church, but when it was reconstructed into the Belfry in the 17th century, it got its modern name.
Today, the first floor of the Belfry serves as an exhibition hall for temporary exhibitions. During church services held at the Kremlin, the Belfry is used for its intended purpose.