Read about the city

Kazan is the capital of the Russian Republic of Tatarstan, and here you can indulge the exciting and elegant blend of Russian and Tatar culture. The mixture can be seen at the city's architecture and in the tasty gastronomy. Kazan is also one of Russia's largest cities and the most populous along the river Volga.

Kazan was founded by the Golden Horde of the Mongols in the 13th century, and in 1438 it became the capital of the Kazan Khanate. The city became Russian with Ivan IV's conquest of Kazan in 1552, of Ivan immediately started the construction of the Kazan Kremlin, which is the city's main attraction and since the year 2000 inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

There is a lot to see in the city on the banks of the Volga and Kazanka River. In the Kazan Kremlin, the beautiful orthodox domes stand next to newly built minarets behind the white walls. And in the complex you can visit interesting museums and fine churches as well as enjoy a stroll in the old city center.

The street of ul. Baumana is Kazan's long and vibrant pedestrian street, and a walk here is a must when visiting the city. Here are sights next to shops and cafes. On the tour through the city you can also see the impressive Agricultural Palace and enjoy the tranquility along the rivers that leave a natural mark on the city.

Other attractions

Epiphany Cathedral, Kazan

  • Epiphany Cathedral/Богоявленский собор: The Epiphany Cathedral is a church located on the main street, ul. Baumana. You can see the church itself and its tall bell tower, which is one of the street's most characteristic constructions. The church was completed in the mid-18th century, while the bell tower was built 1893-1897. The church was a cathedral until 1935, when it was closed and later converted into a sports hall. In 1996, it again became a church, while the bell tower serves as an exhibition hall.

Kazan Mother of God Monastery

  • Kazan Mother of God Monastery/Казанский Богородицкий монастырь: This is an Orthodox monastery in Kazan, located exactly where the Kazan icon of the Mother of God was found. It happened on July 8, 1579, when 9-year-old Matrona found the icon after a dream. The ruler Ivan IV decided to build a convent for the Mother of God, where the icon lay, and according to legend, Matrona was the first nun in the new monastery. The facility later became one of the most important monasteries in Russia, before it was closed and destroyed during the Soviet Union era, where a tobacco factory was built on the site. In 1994, the monastery church was reopened and the Kazan icon was returned. The remaining ruins were excavated, and in 2016 the foundation stone was laid for a new construction of the former Mother of God Cathedral. Today, it stands beautifully by the monastery.
  • Kul-Sharif Mosque/Мечеть Кул-Шариф: Before Kazan became part of Russia in 1552, the region was part of the Volga Bulgarian Empire and it was a muslim rule. In the 16th century, they built a mosque in the Kazan Kremlin area, which was destroyed during Ivan IV's Russian conquest of the city. The current mosque was built in 1996-2005 with financial support from Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries and named after the priest Kul-Sharif, who died in the battle of Kazan in 1552. The mosque is one of the largest in Russia and is today a characteristic part of Kazan's skyline.

Savior Tower, Kazan

  • Savior Tower/Спасская башня: The Kazan Kremlin is surrounded by large walls, and to the south of the complex stands the Savior Tower as the largest of the kremlin towers. The Savior Tower was built as the main entrance to the Kremlin itself and is located on May 1 Square/1 Мая площадь. The tower was built in the 16th century and named after the icon of the Savior, who was involved in the Russian conquest of Kazan. Over time, fires have ravaged the tower and it has therefore been partially rebuilt several times.
  • Freedom Square/площадь свободы: The Freedom Square in Kazan is the heart of the city, and here you can see a large monument with a statue of Lenin from 1954. There are also several interesting buildings around the square. To the south is the Kazan Opera and Ballet Theater, to the east the town hall and a fine concert hall and to the north the government building of Tatarstan. It was built during the Stalin era with planned pompous architecture, as it is known from Moscow. Nikita Khrushchev, however, saw the unfinished construction on a walk after Stalin's death, and he ordered it stopped at half height and without special decoration. Following a renovation after the year 2000, the house has been modernized.

Kazan Town Hall

  • Kazan Town Hall/Казанская ратуша: Kazan's beautiful town hall is located on the central Freedom Square/площадь свободы. It was built in 1845-1852 in Italian Renaissance style as The Hall of Nobility, which was a replacement for the noble house that burned in 1842. In the new building there was a large ballroom, library, club room, dining rooms, presidential office, etc. The house was the city's social center until the October Revolution in 1917. Thereafter, the building was used by the Red Army as an officers' quarters. Today, the former Hall of Nobility is used as Kazan's town hall, and the tradition of large balls has been resumed.
  • Kazan Federal University/Казанского федерального университета: The University of Kazan was founded as an imperial university in 1804, and over time Lenin, Leo Tolstoy and many others studied here. Today you can see the institution's impressive main building from the 1820s, which was built in classicism after the design of the architect Peter Pyatnisky. There are also several other fine buildings on the central campus.

Kazan Railway Station

  • Kazan Railway Station/Казань-Пассажирская: The railway came to Kazan in 1893 with the construction of the railway from Moscow to Kazan. In 1895, Heinrich Rusch's beautiful main railway station was built, and it remains the city's railway hub with newer extensions to suit intermodal connections of bus and train traffic.
  • Ekiyat Tatar State Puppet Theatre/Татарский государственный театр кукол Экият: The puppet theater in Kazan was founded in 1934 and thus has a long tradition of fine productions of well-known and beloved performances. The theater building from 2012 looks like a small castle, and it is one of Russia's largest puppet theaters.

Lenin House Museum, Kazan

  • Lenin House Museum/Дом-музей В. И. Ленина: Opened in 1937, this museum is a memorial to the living conditions of the Ulyanov family. It gives the impression of the influence that the family had on the development of Lenin as a person and a revolutionary. The family came from Simbirsk to Kazan in 1887, and the following year they moved into the wooden house that is now a museum. However, the time in Kazan did not last long, as the Ulyanovs moved to Samara in 1889.
  • Tu-144 CCCP-77107/Ту-144 CCCP-77107: At Kazan University of Aeronautics, you can see an exhibited Tupolev 144, which was the world's first supersonic passenger aircraft. The aircraft in Kazan was produced in 1975 and had the production number CCCP-77107 painted on the tail. It was to be in passenger service, but was only used during a total of 357 hours of test flights, of which 135 were supersonic. The plane came to Kazan in 1985 and stood in the backyard of the university until 2017, when it was moved to its current location.

Tatar State Opera & Ballet Theater, Kazan

  • Tatar State Opera & Ballet Theatre/Татарский академический государственный театр оперы и балета: The history of public theaters in Kazan started in 1791, where the first performances were held in a gymnasium theater. This theater's own building was built in 1803, but it burned with large parts of the city in 1842. New constructions burned in 1874 and 1919, before the current theater was built 1936-1939. Since then, the repertoire of the beautiful theater has been developed with fine operas and ballets.
  • Alexander Passage/Александровский пассаж: This passage is an edifice that was built 1880-1883 as one of the beautiful arcades of its time with a covered street where there were fine shops. Later on, the house was intended to serve as a museum, but the shops were retained in the elegant building.

Catholic Church, Kazan

  • Catholic Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross/Католический Храм Воздвижения Святого Креста: Catholics came to Kazan in 1700, and a congregation was established in 1835. In 1855, the parish priest applied to build a church, and it was approved on the condition that the church should not look Catholic. The church was consecrated in 1858. After liberalization of the rules in 1905, the church was rebuilt to a more Catholic appearance. During the Soviet era, a wind tunnel was built in the building, and it proved so difficult to move that the congregation got a new plot in the city for the current church, which was opened in 2008. The architecture is as much as possible an imitation of the church from 1908.
  • Monument to Fallen Soldiers/Храм-памятник воинам: This temple is one of Kazan's most distinctive buildings. Its full name is the Memorial-Temple to Russian Soldiers who Fell at the Conquest of Kazan. It was erected in 1813-1823 in memory of the Russian soldiers siege and conquest of Kazan in 1552. The temple stands as the only building on a small island in the middle of the river Kazanka.
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Kazan, Tatarstan, Russia

Top attractions

Kazan Kremlin

  • Kazan Kremlin/Казанский Кремль: The Kazan Kremlin is beautifully situated on the Kazanka River and is the city's main attraction. The Kremlin is the historic citadel that Ivan IV had built with famous architects and builders from Pskov. It was built on the ruins of the castle where Kazan's khans lived before the Russian conquest in 1552. Behind the white walls of the Kremlin, many buildings were erected over the years, and the oldest is the Annunciation Cathedral. On a walk in the premises of the Kremlin you can also see the famous Söyembikä Tower, the city's presidential palace, the Savior's Tower and the Kul Sharif mosque. The walls with the towers around the Kremlin were built in the 1500s and 1600s. In the year 2000, the Kazan Kremlin was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, and today you can see the entire complex and several interesting museums in some of the buildings.

Cathedral of the Annunciation, Kazan

  • Cathedral of the Annunciation/Благовещенский собор: In the middle of the Kazan Kremlin you can see this cathedral and its beautiful gilded dome surrounded by four light blue domes. The church was originally built of wood in 1552 by Ivan IV, but as early as 1555 the present stone church was built. During the following centuries, the cathedral was expanded and rebuilt with i.a. the beautiful onion shaped domes. The church interior is richly decorated with murals on walls and ceilings as well as a distinguished iconostasis.

Söyembikä Tower, Kazan

  • Söyembikä Tower/Башня Сююмбикэ: The Söyembikä Tower stood for many years as the tallest tower in the Kazan Kremlin, and it is still one of the city's most famous landmarks. For many years the tower was called the Leaning Tower because the inclinatin was almost two meters/78 inches, but today it has been straightened, and it no longer leans. The tower's history is lost in uncertainty, but it is named after Queen Söyembikä, who ruled Kazan 1549-1551 during the minority of her son. The architecture of the tower is a mix of Russian and Tatar traditions with square and octagonal floors.
  • Agricultural Palace/Дворец земледельцев: The Agricultural Palace is located like a beautiful castle on the Palace Square in Kazan. The large building was erected 2008-2010 as the seat of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food in Tatarstan. The building's eclectic and monumental exterior has two symmetrical wings and a central part with a portal and a classic dome that is 48 meters/157 feet high. Today, the palace is one of the city's modern landmarks.

Presidential Palace, Kazan

  • Presidential Palace/Президентский дворец: The Presidential Palace is a building located in the territory of the Kazan Kremlin. This is the place of the former khan palace in the city. In 1843, Tsar Nikolai I approved the construction of a new residence for the Russian military governor in Kazan. St. Petersburg architect KA Ton designed the beautiful building in Russian-Byzantine style, and through the 20th century it housed the authorities of the Tatar Autonomous Soviet Republic. Today, the palace serves as the official residence of the President of the Russian Republic of Tatarstan.

Temple of All Religions, Kazan

  • Temple of All Religions/Храм всех религий: In Kazan, this temple stands as a colorful edifice built from 1992 by the artist and philanthropist Ildar Khanov. The architecture is a colorful mix of different styles, and the building complex is a combination of an Orthodox church, a synagogue, a mosque and more. The temple is not religiously active, but it serves as a cultural center.
  • The National Museum of the Republic of Tatarstan/Национальный музей Республики Татарстан: In the summer of 1890, the great Russian scientific and industrial exhibition was held in Kazan, and after the success, the city established a regional museum. Through a large donation, the museum was opened in the trading house, Gostiny Dvor. The museum has since become the National Museum of Tatarstan, whose collections provide an interesting overview of the history and culture of Kazan and Tatarstan.
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  • GorkiPark/ГоркиПарк, ul. Rikhards Zorge 11B/ул. Рихарда Зорге 11Б, gorkipark.rf
  • Yuzhnyj/Южный, Prospekt Pobedy 91/пр-т. Победы 91,
  • KazanMall, ul. Pavlyukhina 91/ул. Павлюхина 91,
  • Mega Kazan/МЕГА Казань, Prospekt Pobedy 141/пр-т. Победы 141,
  • TsUM/ЦУМ, Moskovskaja ul. 2/Moskovskaya st. 2,
  • Shopping street : ul. Baumana/ул. Baumana
With kids
  • Botanical and zoological garden: Kazansky zoobotsad/Казанский зооботсад, ul. Khadi-Taktasha 112/ул. Хади-Такташа 112,
  • Circus: Kazansky Tsirk/Казанский цирк, pl. Tysyacheletiya 2/пл. Тысячелетия 2,
  • Puppet theater: Tatarsky Gosudarstvennyj Teatr Kukol Ekiyat/атарский государственный театр кукол Экият, ul. Peterburgskaya 57/ул. Петербургская 57,
  • Natural history: Muzey Estestvennoy Istorii Tatarstana/Музей естественной истории Татарстана, ul. Sheinkmana 12/ул. Шейнкмана 12,
  • Planetarium: Planetariy KFU/Планетарий КФУ, pos. Oktyabrskiy ul. AOE 7/пос. Октябрьский ул. АОЭ 7,
  • Aqua park: Kazanskaya Riviera/Казанская Ривьера, pr. Fatykha Amirkhana 1/пр. Фатыха Амирхана 1,
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