Tourism in Russia > Tatarstan
Kazan, the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan, is a unique ancient city combining
two major cultures - Tatar and Russian. In 2005, Kazan celebrated its 1000th anniversary.
Kazan is a diverse and multifaceted tourist destination. Its cultural and historical
landmarks - such as the Kazan Kremlin, now under the aegis of UNESCO, 759 historical
and cultural monuments protected by the state, numerous museums, sports and cultural
centres, etc. - are the basis for all-year cultural tourism highlighting Kazan
as a place where the West meets the East. Multitudes of ships arrive in Kazan
by the Volga River during navigation seasons, and abundant minor rivers and lakes
make the town a small Venice.
Kazan is a fast-changing city. Those who visited it some five years ago would
be surprised to see numerous improvements including new and comfortable streets,
cosy cafes and shopping complexes. The Pyramid, an ultramodern entertainment centre
of glass with everything needed for proper rest and recreation, has grown near
the Kazan Kremlin. Near the Pyramid is the luxury hotel Mirage. Other places of
interest include newly built Shalyapin Palace Hotel, Suleiman Palace Hotel, Korston
Hotel & Mall, Basket Hall Sports Palace for 7500 persons, Ice Arena and one
of Russia's largest water parks, Riviera. The modern and scenic amusement park
Kyrlai is located in the heart of the city, near the Kremlin traffic dam.
The world-class mountain skiing resort Kazan has been built at the confluence
of the Sviyaga and Volga rivers on the picturesque hills of Verkhny Uslon some
35 km from Kazan. A splendid view of the island town of Sviyazhsk, chair lifts
between the heights of 160 m and 200 m and a golf course guarantee a perfect rest
for any visitor. A ski station with a ski and snowboard hire desk, a sports shop,
a restaurant, a parking lot, tourist cottages and a children's village will contribute
to your comfort.
Every year, Kazan hosts the Shalyapin Opera Festival and the Nuriev Ballet Festival,
and thousands of Russian and foreign fans gather for sports events with the participation
of Ak Bars hockey team, Unix Basketball Club and Rubin Football Club. All these
entertainments make Kazan the perfect tourist attraction for both music and sports
If you arrive in Kazan by train, the city and its hospitality opens up before
your eyes the train station is located in the very center of the city. First
to appear are the cathedrals of the Zilantov Monastery and the panorama of the
Kazanka River, then the white walls of the Kremlin will be visible on high on
the hill, and out over the ramparts will peek the minarets of its mosque and
cupolas of its churches.
Indeed the thousand-year old city of Kazan is interesting first of all for
its architectural monuments. The historic downtown displays a harmonious alternation
of styles, in which Russian and Tatar buildings stand peacefully side-by-side.
The districts of the city are well developed with modern parks and entertainment
centers of Euro pean caliber, sports complexes and large shopping centers.
The primary landmark of Kazan is its fortress, the Kazan Kremlin, built upon
the capture of Kazan by Russian forces in 1553. The largest mosque in Europe,
Kul Sharif, is located in the Kremlin. Looking out from its walls, one has picturesque
view of the Volga at its confluence with the Kazanka River and of the Cathedral
of the Holy Mandylion, better known as the Monument to the Fallen in the Capture
of Kazan, erected on an island in the Kazanka. Here too one can see a modern
landmark of Kazan the entertainment complex “Pyramid , built in the style of
high tech .
In the very heart of the city is Kazan's answer to Moscow's Arbat, Bauman Street,
on which stands Theophany (Bogoyavlensky) Ca- thedral. It was here in the cathedral
that the Kazan native and great opera singer Fyodor Shalyapin was baptized.
The street is graced with the cathedral s fantastically tall bell tower. Six
bridges across the Bulak canal lead to Bauman Street, each bearing its own name
and its own story. In the centuries their names and pavement have changed, but
to this day they serve as vital links in the transporta- tion infrastructure.
If you walk up one of the steep streets from Bauman, such as Astrono micheskaya,
you will reach ul. Kremlyovskaya and Kazan University, one of the oldest and
largest universities in Russia. The street is home to some of Kazan's most beautiful
buildings: the National Library, Alexander Passage, National Museum of the Republic
of Tatarstan. While enjoying these sights, it's worth turning down Musa Dzhalil
Street and taking a closer look at the Peter-Paul Cathedral, which will probably
have already caught your eye from afar.
And if you descend the other direction from Bauman Street to the Bu- lak, then
walk along it to Lake Kaban, you'll find yourself amidst the oriental color
of the Old Tatar Settlement. The district took its current form in the latter
half of the nineteenth century, with the construc tion of the Cathedral, Azimov,
Apanaev, and Marjani mosques.
Kazan is constantly changing and renewing itself; this is a city that is worth
visiting again and again, ever full of hospitality.