Kazan Travel Guide

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Kazan is the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan on the junction of the Volga and Kazanka Rivers about 500 miles south-east of Moscow. Founded circa 1005 AD, it later served as the capital of the Kazan Khanate.

It is an ancient city filled with magnificient buildings, monuments, boulevards and many other incredibly beautiful sights to see. In fact, Kazan is devided into two distinct parts : the upper town with the Kremlin, where the Russian gentry, merchants and craftsmen lived, and the lower town , the Old Tatar and new Tatar settlements, where Tatar tradesmen, merchants and even peasants lived, since cultivated fields extended to the very edge of the lower town.

In the cultural sence, Kazan always struck a balance between Europe and Asia: the life-style of a provincial capital combined with the traditional mode of existence, resulted in a fascinating synthesis unique to Kazan.

Naturally , the architectural regulations of the time also affected the construction of Kazan ’s stone mosques from the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries, which were built, as a rule, where old wooden mosques had been standing before. Although only a few of the mosques have survived , they demonstrate a surprising variety of architecture.

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