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Kazan Russia sights
Kazan Russia, the city on the Volga is the capital of Tatarstan. After Moscow and St. Petersburg, it is one of the most important tourist cities in Russia with more than a million inhabitants. Here the river cruise ships that travel the Volga dock. Kazan is about 720 km east of Moscow. It is a center of Islam in Russia. A large Orthodox community also lives in Kazan. The coexistence of the two faiths works remarkably well. Otherwise, however, Kazan is hardly known in the West, as is the Republic of Tatarstan. It was no different for us before we spent three days in Kazan, Russia.
As a city with 1,2 million inhabitants, Kazan offers many attractions in Russia. Kazan on the Volga is a city whose history dates back to the 12th century. At the same time, it is a young city that has undergone a change from a Soviet city to a western-oriented city in recent years. In addition, Muslims and Christians live peacefully together in Kazan. This is also expressed in the Kazan sights. You can also see from the attractions in Kazan that cultures and ethnic groups meet in this city. Over the centuries a peaceful coexistence between Russians and Tatars developed, which continues to this day. Based on their historical heritage, visitors get a good insight into what they have contributed to the history of Kazan.
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Kremlin - one of the top Kazan Russia attractions
One of the best examples is the Kazan Kremlin, which towers high above the Kazanka River. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Kremlin is one of the most important Kazan sights. The most important buildings in the Kremlin are the Kul Sharif Mosque, which opened in 2005, and the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation. Originally there was a wooden church in place of the cathedral, which was built in 1552 under Ivan IV.
However, construction of the cathedral with its five cross domes began just three years later. It was completed in 1562. A bell tower was built in the 17th century. However, the domes only got the onion shape in the 18th century. Since 2005 the cathedral has housed an image of the “Our Lady of Kazan"That dates from the 18th century.
Both houses of worship dominate the image of the Kremlin. The spiers of the mosque reflect the blue domes of the cathedral, as if to express the coexistence of religions in the harmony of their colors.
The government of Kazan Russia is keen not to disturb this peace. Therefore, the star that has crowned the Spassky Tower at the south entrance to the Kremlin since the 1930s is not replaced with a cross that used to be there. Other attractions of the Kremlin are the Sujumbike Tower, the Redeemer Gate (Spassky Tower), the Governor's Palace and the Transfiguration Monastery.
Registry office in the city of Kazan Russia
I do not know a city in which the registry office of the city is one of the sights. In Kazan, however, this building is so extraordinary that it can not be overlooked. The shape of a cauldron reminds of the time of the Tartars who traveled through the countryside as nomads. In its interior, couples today conclude the bond of marriage. From the roof of the family center you also have a good view of the river and the surrounding area.
Tatar quarter in Kazan Russia
Worth seeing is the district of Tatars at ul. Kayuma Nasyri. Wooden houses make this district very colorful. The gates to the courtyards and the house facades are decorated with wooden ornaments. In between are mosques. At the Tatar Inn you can also get to know the culinary specialties of the Tatars. Even today you can find villages in the countryside in Tatarstan that look similar.
Cathedral - one of the more unknown attractions in Kazan
The architectural style of the Naryshkin Baroque makes this cathedral especially worth seeing. This is an architectural style that ends in Russia in the 17. and the beginning of 18. Century was widespread. Typical of this are the ornaments on its facade. The details are well preserved. Donations made by trader Ivan Mikhlyaev made it possible to build the church. Famous people visited the cathedral. These included Catherine II, Peter the Great and Alexander Pushkin. Alexandre Dumas and Alexander Humboldt mentioned her in her works. However, it impresses us above all because of its architectural style.
State Puppet Theater - one of the nice attractions of Kazan. Russia
Striking is the architecture of the building. This shows already from the outside, what is played in the theater. It is one of the leading puppet shows in Russia. Tales are told of the peoples of the world. There are also historical and contemporary pieces.
The Kazan Arena on the Volga has been around since 2013. The Rubin Kazan Stadium was the venue of the Universiade. Today Rubin Kazan's games are held in it. In 2017 and 2018 it also serves as the venue for the FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2018 World Cup. It can accommodate more than 45.000 spectators. The largest open-air screen in Europe is also located at the front.
Temple of all religions - one of the Kazan attractions on the outskirts of the city
The temple of religions goes back to an idea of the artist Ildar Khanow. However, he did not want to unite all religions under one roof. Rather, he wanted to create a symbol for the unity of souls. His temple of religions, however, is not finished yet. He is financed by donations. As soon as money is available, it will continue to be built. With its architecture, it is definitely one of the major attractions of the city.
Anyone visiting Kazan on the Volga should not miss a walk on Bauman Street. This is the pedestrian area of the city. Especially in the evenings she is beautiful. Then the facades of the old buildings are illuminated. Many shops are open until late at night. Street musicians show their skills on the street. The road stretches from Pushkin Street to the banks of the Kazanka River.
Tours in Kazan Russia
Since we are in the first time Win Tatarstan and Russia, we looked at the city on guided tours. Without them we would certainly not have seen all the sights of the city. Also, and that was very important to us, we wanted to get to know the city with the locals. We were able to ask questions and get an idea of the city and its inhabitants. Even if they certainly didn't answer all of our questions openly, we still got a better insight into the city, its history and attractions than if we had looked at it without a guided tour.
Excursions from Kazan Russia
There are two places you shouldn't miss when you are in Kazan. They are out of town and the journey takes a few hours. However, since they are both UNESCO World Heritage Sites, a trip to Kazan is not complete without visiting these sites.
Svyashsk Island is one of the must-see sights in Russia every visitor to the country. There Tsar Ivan the Terrible built a bastion of Russian Orthodoxy in 1551 as a counterpoint to the then Muslim Tatarstan. From here Ivan organized his conquests into the Tatar empire. At the same time, he expanded the island into a fortress for the Orthodox Church. Even today there are several wooden churches from the time of Ivan and a monastery that is still inhabited on this island in the Volga. From Kazan you can easily reach the island of Svyazhsk by boat. There are also excursions that are offered from the city.
More information about sviyazhsk can be found in this article.
The second place not to be missed is Great Bolgar. This island is about 200 kilometers from Kazan. You can also reach this place by boat from Kazan. The journey takes about two hours. Bolgar was the capital of the Tatars at the time when Tatars and Russians clashed in the region. Great Bolgar is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the museum you get an insight into the way of life of the Tatars. The white mosque and the wooden village of the Tatars are worth seeing. In the Koran Shrine you can see the largest Koran in the world. Only when you visit Bolgar can you understand Kazan and the coexistence between Russian Orthodox and Muslims. A visit is definitely worth it.
More about Great Bolgar can be found in this article.
Sights Kazan Russia
Source for the article Kazan on the Volga: own research on site. We thank Visit Tatarstan for the kind invitation to this trip. However, our opinion remains our own. The article contains a few Affiliate Links.
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Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Photos © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
This is the name of the registry office of Kazan. This building is so extraordinary that it can not be overlooked. The shape of a cauldron reminds of the time of the Tartars who traveled through the countryside as nomads.
Hotels are best located near Bauman Street or on the north bank of the Kazanka River. From there you can reach the sights of Kazan best.
Kazan offers several hostels.