Ivan III

Grand Prince of Moscow and All Russia

An outstanding statesman, who displayed extraordinary military and diplomatic talents.

One of Ivan III’s main achievements was to finally free Russia from the Golden Horde bond.

Under Ivan III, the unification of Russian lands proceeded apace. The Moscow Principality was a rallying centre for the Yaroslavl, Rostov, Tver, and Novgorod principalities.

During Ivan III’s reign, the Moscow Kremlin was built as we know it today. To create a residence worthy of the ruler of Russia, Ivan III ordered that not only Russian masters be invited to Moscow but also builders from Italy, whose skills were highly valued all over Europe.

Ivan III’s era was the heyday of Russian chronicle writing and the publication of a number of literary works, including The Journey Beyond Three Seas by Afanasy Nikitin and also obviously The Saga of the Mamay Battle, Zadonshchina, and others.

Ambrogio Contarini of Venice left a description of Ivan III. “He is tall but thin. In general, he is a very handsome man.” The Venetian also commented on Moscow’s importance as an international trading hub: “Numerous merchants from Germany and Poland flock to the city during the winter.”

* Based on facts from the life of the focal point of this section