Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan and one of the oldest cities in Russia,
has always been a cultural melting pot. Today it still strikes tourists
with its beautiful mosaic of Muslim and Russian Orthodox cultures
peacefully coexisting within one city.
A city of 1.2 million
residents, Kazan is said to sit on seven hills, just like Rome. It
resides on the left bank of the Volga river and on both banks the
Kazanka, one of the Volga’s tributaries. The city has its own Kremlin,
Russia's second oldest university and a number of mosques, many of which
were erected in the past 15 years. The Kremlin is a UNESCO heritage
site and was built as a fortress after Tsar Ivan the Terrible conquered
Kazan in 1552.
celebrated its 1,000th anniversary in 2005. For many in Russia, the city is
most strongly associated with the 13th and 15th centuries when Russia fought
against Mongolian invasion. Even the name of the province dates back to the
time when Mongolian khans were referred to as “Tatars”.
(“Kazan: A Thousand Years Young”, Moscow News, №22 2007)
(“Kazan Rising”, Moscow News, №15 2008)
To find more information about history of Kazan, go to http://www.kcn.ru/tat_en/history/capital.html (in English)
Studying Russian, but while you are in Kazan, you would like to try speak Tatar? Tatar-Russian phrase book helps you - http://www.kazan1000.ru/rus/audio/audiobook.htm