Tourist attractions


Historically, Kazan has been a home for two different cultures: Russian and Tatar. Founded by the Volga Bulgars, the city was first under the sway of Mongol khans but later came under the control of Russian tsars. Today, Kazan is widely praised as an iconic example of peaceful coexistence between Orthodox Christian Russians and Muslim Tatars, which is evidenced by the location of two major symbols of these two religions, Kul Sharif Mosque and Annunciation Cathedral, next to each other.

A unique combination of the Tatar and Russian cultures, eastern and western traditions within one region annually attracts millions of tourists to Kazan. The city’s rich museum collections, mosques and Christian churches, old libraries, mysterious Lake Kaban, modern parks and embankments make an unforgettable impression on its visitors.

In the very heart of Kazan, pedestrian Bauman Street, tourists can fully experience the architectural diversity of the city by taking a stroll and admiring old mansions once owned by local merchants and nobilities, Bell Tower of the Epiphany Church, replica of the royal carriage of Catherine II, Prime Meridian and sculpture of the legendary Kazan Cat. The street leads to the Kazan Kremlin, the city’s main tourist attraction enrolled into the UNESCO World Heritage list. There is a whole range of architectural monuments in the territory of the Kazan Kremlin, among them the leaning Syuyumbike Tower, tombs of Kazan khans and religious buildings. Observation decks of the Kazan Kremlin provide tourists with panoramic bird’s-eye views of the Kremlin Embankment, Palace of Farmers, Kazan Arena Stadium and Kazan Family Centre.

The complex of the Old Tatar Settlement also enjoys high popularity among visitors of Kazan. Some historically significant mosques and surviving buildings that once belonged to artistic intelligentsia are located within the settlement.

Natural and architectural places of interest that can surely tickle tourists’ fancy are also situated outside the city of Kazan. The historical complex of the ancient town of Bolgar, included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List, is the capital of the vanished state of Volga Bulgaria. The island town of Sviyazhsk, located an hour’s drive from Kazan, was founded as a fortress supporting the troops of Ivan the Terrible. The Raifa Monastery, where the copy of the Georgian Mother of God Icon is kept, is a popular pilgrimage destination for Orthodox Christians. The ancient town of Elabuga that managed to preserve its historical charm attracts crowds of tourists with its abundance of museums, beautiful architecture and picturesque location. All above-mentioned points of interest are included in the Pearl Necklace of Tatarstan tourist route and allow tourists the opportunity to embrace the rich historical and cultural heritage of the region.

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Treasures of Tatarstan