Kazan the capital city of the Republic of Tatarstan, is a glorious city that represents Russia’s Tsarist past. With complex palaces, towering churches, and a thriving cultural scene, Kazan is a pure Russian city with incredible beauty and heart. As the “Third Capital of Russia,” there is plenty to see and to do in Kazan. One can enjoy long walks down the streets of the city, as each of them offers a new arrangement of colors and historic buildings. Kazan is also one of the largest economic, political, scientific and cultural centers of the country.
One of the main attractions is the Kazan Kremlin. Built by Ivan the Terrible on the ruins of the palace of the Kazan Khanate that he destroyed, this white fortress is a beautiful sight in any season. The Kremlin of Kazan reflects not only the ethnic mix of Tatars and Russians that make up this important region of the Russian Federation, but also the combined strength of the region’s two great religions, Islam and Orthodox Christianity.
Kul Sharif Mosque
The magnificent Kul Sharif Mosque, named after Kazan’s last great Imam is an architectural gem of the centuary. It is the largest Muslim place of worship in Europe, and serves as home to a rich collection of ancient books which is a must visit monument of Kazan.
Temple of All Religions
Today’s Kazan appears strongly tied with its unique mixture of religious beliefs through the Temple of All Religion. Philanthropist Ildar Khanov began work on his Temple of All Religions in 1992 near the shores of the Volga River. The structure is not an active temple of any religion, but rather, as Khanov describes its mission, a “temple of culture and truth”. It has become a popular landmark in the city of Kazan, which takes pride in the peaceful combination of different cultures. Khanov says that eventually the structure has 16 cupolas, corresponding to the 16 major world religions including past religions that are no longer practiced. The Temple makes use of religious architecture from all over the world, and has an Orthodox church dome, a minaret, synagogue-like fixtures, and other items representing 16 of the world’s many faiths.
A prevailing feature of life in the city is peaceful, creative coexistence of different religions and nationalities. Due to its gorgeous architecture, breathtaking scenery, and welcoming locals, Kazan is the perfect destination for travelers of all ages.