Kazan is the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan, one of the largest and most beautiful cities of Russia, which is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage cities. The old Kazan is the center of the city. There are beautiful buildings raised in different architectural styles. Mansions in the style of modernism coexist with the Baroque monuments. You can feel the aura of antiquity spell from ancient white walls of the Kazan Kremlin where from a superb view on the river opens. Imagination is boggled by the red bell tower of Bogoyavlenskaya church at the pedestrian Bauman street beloved by tourists.
Kazan easily combines the culture and traditions of the East and the West: next to the finely cut minaret towers there are old Orthodox churches. A prevailing feature of life in the city is peaceful, creative coexistence of different religions and nationalities. In 2005 Kazan celebrated its millennium jubilee. Despite of such venerable age, the city is growing and dynamically developing in all respects. Contemporary changes in the outside appearance of Kazan are contributed by the architects with worldwide known names.
Kazan offers a lot of various events you can visit during your stay - international opera and ballet festival, different types of music festivals, popular singers concerts and many other interesting things to do. Cirque du Soleil regurlary brings its shows to Kazan. And a must-see event in Tatarstan is a national holiday Sabantuy - tatar summer festival, which is celebrated in the beginning of June.
Once a Tatar fortress, it was largely destroyed by Ivan the Terrible. During the 16th and 17th Centuries, Russians reconstructed the Kremlin with new fortifications and Russian institutions such as the Annunciation Cathedral. Many of the features of the Kremlin reflect Russian influence of that era, and the construction of the parapets and watchtowers is particularly reminiscent of other dominant Russian cities of the time, such as Pskov and Novgorod. Entry to the Kremlin is through the white clock tower (the Spasskaya Tower) at the end of Bauman Street.
Named after the 16th-century Tatar imam who died defending Kazan from Ivan the Terrible's army, the Kul-Sharif Mosque was completed in 2005 after 10 years of construction. It is located within the Kremlin walls, making the Kremlin facility now a symbol of multicultural harmony in multiethnic Tatarstan. From the observation balcony, visitors can appreciate the beauty of the mosque, which is built in a modern design not unlike modern Turkish mosques. The dome in the shape of a lotus flower and the many windows give the prayer hall a bright and airy atmosphere.
The pedestrian zone that stretches between the Kremlin and Tokai Square and the Hotel Tatarstan. This is Kazan's Arbat, with boutiques, souvenir shops and kiosks, cafes, bars, and plenty of opportunities for people-watching. The statuary (such as a bronze carriage) is especially interesting.