Faces of KazanKazan, whose age is now crossed a millennial mark, is the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan in Russia. This is a metropolis, where the cultures of east and west are intricately intertwined, as well as Christianity and Islam, past and present, unique culture and high technology.

Where did it All Begin?

A starting point of the city was a military fortress built in the north of the state of Volga Bulgaria more than a thousand years ago. “Kazan” means a large pot with thick walls. The original name of the fortress is symbolic – it is here, on the left bank of Volga, where Kazanka flows into it, where major trading routes from the Kievan Rus, the Middle East and Byzantium had crossed. According to a legend, before the construction of the city its founders buried a cauldron under the foundation of the first building, as a symbol of prosperity and a happy life. Kazan became part of Russia in 1552.

Kazan – History and Modern Times in one “Pot”

The main attraction of the city is the Kremlin, which construction was ordered by Ivan the Terrible in 1556 (World Cultural Heritage List of UNESCO). The structure of the Kremlin is comprised of the Cathedral of the Annunciation, the leaning tower of Syuyumbike, which is 2 meters higher than the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa, and Spasskaya Tower (1660).

Near the Kazan Kremlin a pedestrian area starts – Bauman Street. Walking on cobblestone paved roads feels unique any time of day. Here, all variety of the city feels particularly acute: fashionable shops, cafes, restaurants, Drama Theatre, Tatar Cuisine House with national cuisine, and nearby – a copy of the coach of the Russian Empress Catherine II, the monument to Chaliapin, and the Epiphany Cathedral.

A symbol of the victory of Russian troops in Kazan is the Cathedral of the Holy Face. Kul-Sharif Mosque, destroyed in the 16th century on the orders of Ivan the Terrible, experienced its re-birth in 1995.

Lots of educational institutions of the city attract young people, so the city’s population grows every year.

Having been in Kazan, you will want to come back here at least one more time.

To discover Russia with Alexey Gureev

pic: Фотобанк Лори

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