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Kazan – Capital of Tatarstan

Kazan, Capital of Tatarstan

Tatarstan is one of the 22 republics of the Russian Federation.  2000 year-old Kazan lies 800 km east of Moscow and can be reached via the Russian capital or Frankfurt (direct Lufthansa flight). There is also a night train connecting Moscow and Kazan.

Rooms at international hotel chains (Marriott, Hilton, Radisson) are available from 50 euros and restaurants are 30 % cheaper than in Moscow. Public transportation in the city is very efficient with one metro line, buses and trolleybuses. It is a big city with 1.200.000 inhabitants but the atmosphere is very relaxed, nothing compared with the hectic pace of Moscow.

Main tourist attractions

The Kremlin on a hilltop overlooking the city was built from 1556 and is on UNESCO’s World Heritage List since 2000.  The wide expanse is home to a monastery, the Kul Sharif Mosque (53 % of the population is made up of Sunni Muslim Tatars), an Orthodox Cathedral, the Presidential Palace, the Museum of History, the Khans’ Mausoleum and the amazing red-brick seven-story Syuyumbike Tower.

The Old Town is Tatar settlement with the Islamic College and numerous mosques.

In the New Town, Karl Marx, Gorki and Bauman streets are lined with magnificent official buildings and private residences.  Buman street is the pedestrian equivalent of Old Arbat in Moscow.

Excursions from Kazan

 Ancient Bolgar, 175 km away, is on UNESCO’s World Heritage List since 2014. It consists of the ruins of the ancient Cathedral Mosque and the Kazan Khans’ Palace and Mausoleum.  The site contains also the Memorial of the Adoption of Islam,the Museum of History, a brand-new White Mosque and the Bread Museum.

The island town of Svijazhsk, 55 km away, an old fortress site built in 1551, with its Annunciation Cathedral, Our Lady’s Church and the wooden Trinity Church of 1551.

In 2018, Kazan will feature some matches of the Football World Cup, a venue for new visitors from all over the world.

Kazan is definitely a must for tourists and can be combined with visits of St Petersburg and Moscow. This tour could be called the « Russian Triangle ».

Do not miss the opportunity to discover this most interesting and exciting destination.

 

Jacques J. CAMPE

Photos by Vlado Sestan/Lg L5

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