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Kazan – the Third Capital of Russia
Kazan is not only the Republic of Tatarstan capital, but also a magnificent city that personifies the period of Tsarism in Russia. The real sense of Russia is represented through gorgeous palaces, cathedrals and deep cultural background.
You can find a lot of interesting stuff to do and to visit when coming to Kazan, as there’s a good reason to call this city “The third Capital of Russia”. Explore the beautiful mix of nature and colorful architecture during the strolls around the city. In addition to the glorious exterior, Kazan is a very influential political and economic center.
The first must see location is the Kazan Kremlin. This gorgeous fortress was constructed by the order of Ivan the Terrible to replace the palace of the Kazan Khanate he demolished earlier. This building is a unique combination of Russian and Tatar mentalities that the region is famous for. Along with the ethnic mixture, the Kazan Kremlin unites two huge religions: Islam and Orthodox Christianity.
Kazan religious sights
Another gem in the crown of Tatarstan is Kul Sharif Mosque, one of the few originally Tatar sights left in the city after Ivan the Terrible conquered and destroyed it. Muslims from all over Europe come here to worship; alongside, the Mosque is a home for a great collection of theological and scientific books. As for significant Christian religious sights, there is the Annunciation Cathedral in the Kazan Kremlin. There is a rumor that the Cathedral was projected by Paostnik Yakovlev, an architect, who is believed to have been blinded after building St. Basil’s Cathedral.
Nowadays Kazan continues to keep a tight connection between two religions. Benefactor Ildar Khanov started the project called the Temple of All Religions in 1992 on the bank of the Volga River, and this one and only building is still in the process of construction. The main idea of the church is to combine architectural aspects from different faiths. It has a Christian dome, a minaret, synagogue-like details, etc.
Visiting Kazan today
Kazan turned 1000 years old in 2005. Despite its very impressive age, the city doesn’t stop in its development. In Kazan tourists can enjoy various museums, theaters, galleries and exhibition centers. You can even visit “Ermitazh – Kazan” – the only existing branch of the well-known St. Petersburg’s museum.
The most prominent characteristic of Kazan is that various religious and ethnicities exist together in a very calm and peaceful way. The glorious architecture, magnificent landscapes, and hospitable natives will amaze every visitor of any age.