Welcome to Kazan - the capital city of Tatarstan
Kazan... The intersection point of west and east. The meeting point of Islam and Christianity. The ancient capital of the nation of Tatars. At the place where the Kazanka River flows into a powerful Volga, a city with mysterious name and surprising history has been existing for nearly 1000 years. The origin of the city is still a matter of debate, for the remote past is wreathed in mists. A legend has it that:
"A young maid in the river dropped
A bright and shining golden pot
And then rose up a city high
Kazan stood out against the sky".
|A. Shaimardanov. Salvador Dali in Kazan.|
"Kazan" in Tatar means "pot", "cauldron". Its name reflects the raging and dynamical history of the city.
Rich and populous city, with peacefully co-existing Muslim mosque and Orthodox church, Polish Roman-Catholic church and synagogue, whence light of knowledge and culture got into the most distant corners, was known abroad of Russia. It was known by its goods, whence in many Muslim countries came religious and secular books in Arabic, Persian and other languages, city, which was rightfully called "East capital" of Russia.
Therefore it is not surprising that the land of Kazan is rich in outstanding people. For example, Feodor Shalapin, the famous Russian singer and Nikolay Lobochevsky, who was the inventor of non-Euclidian geometry are among many others. Another famous person, who had lived in Kazan and studied at the Kazan University, was Vladimir Lenin (Ulianov), the leader of Socialist Revolution of 1917, and the first Head of the Soviet State. Kazan people respect and multiply the cultural and scientific traditions of their ancient city.
||R. Zagidullin. Ancient Kazan.
Passing by ancient streets of the city we realize that the main wonder is Kazan itself, destroyed and burnt for many times, rebuilt and restored, ancient and eternally Young City. The city keeps indelible traces of the last centuries events. Historical monuments are carefully saved and revived. Kazan architecture combines different styles hinting at the pretentious late Italian Baroque and refined Antiquity, magical Moorish bliss, an oriental cloud cloaking rich merchants and nobility private residences, and ancient skill of a traditional Tatar stone art originating in bas-reliefs.
Kazan Kremlin is a holistic architectural ensemble. The main and the brightest sight of the Kremlin is a seven-tier Suyumbika tower, spiritual symbol and historical pride of Kazan.
When the Russian Tsar Ivan the Terrible entered Kazan after he conquered it, he saw how beautiful the Princess of Kazan Khanate Suyumbike was. His only dream was to marry her, but she resisted because her nation was invaded by him and treated so badly. So she told him to build the highest tower in Kazan in seven days, and if he accomplished it, she would marry him. Ivan the Terrible called the most skilled workers at the time, and told them to do that. In seven days the tower was finished. It had seven tiers. Then Suyumbike climbed the tower to the seventh story floor and jumped out of the window. She refused to give herself to Ivan. Tatars called the tower Suyumbike Tower to remember the tragedy of the nation.
When you come to Kazan you will be able to see first-hand the buity of this ascient city and get to know many facts and legends, which got intimate mixed up in the milennial history of Kazan.
For more information about Kazan and the Tatarstan Republic you can visit the following web-sites:
The official Web-site of Tatarstan Republic
Flash presentation of Tatarstan Republic