Kazan

Founded in: 1005 Population: 1,196,738 Distance to Moscow: 825 km Kazan, one of the oldest Russian cities, has recently celebrated its millennium. The ancient walls of Kazan recall many dramatic events, including the historic siege by Ivan the Terrible in the 16th century. Modern Kazan is the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan and is home to 1.19 million residents. This timeless city is also a city of youth, home to 30 of Russia’s largest universities and more than 180,000 students. This “culture of youth” provides Kazan with a modern and progressive vibrancy, an energy that only young people can instil. It is also a highly diverse city with more than 100 nationalities. This diversity, coupled with a young population, has created a unique sense of tolerance, understanding and youthful optimism. Visitors will also discover the ancient and fascinating Tatar culture in Kazan. A great centre of Muslim culture and a vivid example of how different ethnicities and religions can live peacefully together for many centuries. The 16th century Kazan Kremlin is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Kazan is at the forefront of Russian sport, home to some of the best football, basketball and hockey teams in the country. In 2013, the city will host the Summer Universiade.

Top sights in Kazan

Sujumbike tower is a recognized symbol of the city of Kazan. It is located inside the Kazan Kremlin in the distance from the fortress walls previously played the role of the castle watchtower. From its top tier there is a good view of Kazanka and Volga rivers and their surroundings. The foundations of the tower rests on oak piles, the walls are made of bricks. Sujumbike consists of 7 layers, which have different shapes: three lower tiers have the form of a square, the others are octagonal. The top two tiers, an observation post and a tented roof are topped with a green spire with a finial in the form of a gilded apple with a crescent. The total height of the tower is 58 meters. The exact time when the Sujumbike  tower was built is unknown. The earliest mention in written sources dates back to 1777, when the tower was marked on the plan of the Kazan Kremlin. In press and literature the combination of words of Sujumbike Tower appeared for the first time in 1832 and lately it has become widely used. The origin of the tower is shrouded in legends. One of them tells that the tower was built by tatar queen Sujumbike who ruled in XVI century, in the memory of her husband Safa-Giray, who died in 1549. Another legend tells that Russian tsar Ivan the Terrible wanted to marry gorgeous Sujumbike. She agreed, but told him to build the highest tower in Kazan in 7 days, one floor in one day. When tower was completed, Suyumbike climbed on the last floor, looked at her city and junped down.

Sujumbike tower is a recognized symbol of the city of Kazan. It is located inside the Kazan Kremlin in the distance from the fortress walls previously played the role of the castle watchtower. From…

The Kul Sharif mosque is the main mosque in the Republic of Tatarstan, it was built on the territory of the Kazan Kremlin in the early 2000's. The opening ceremony took place on 24 June 2005 and was dedicated to the 1000th anniversary of Kazan. The Kul Sharif Mosque was built for 10 years, the construction works were sponsored by corporate and personal donations, with an estimated number of 40 000 citizens and organizations. The designers of the new Mosque tried to recreate the main mosque of Kazan Khanate, destroyed in 1552 by Russian czar Ivan The Terrible. It was named in honor of the last Imam Seid Kul-Sharif. Kul Sharif consists of three buildings: the mosque and two pavilions. The mosque accommodates 1,500 people, and the square in front of the mosque accomodates 10 thousand people. The mosque complex includes the building of the mosque, the Museum of the history of the Islam spreading over the territory of the Middle Volga, the room for the wedding ceremony (nikah) and the office of Imam. In the main hall of the mosque there are books with the names of construction work sponsors. Also this room contains special gift editions of the Quran in different languages.

The Kul Sharif mosque is the main mosque in the Republic of Tatarstan, it was built on the territory of the Kazan Kremlin in the early 2000's. The opening ceremony took place on 24 June 2005 and was…