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Kazan Sights and Landmarks Guide, Russia

Kazan is one of the largest cities in the European part of Russia and the historic capital of the Republic of Tatarstan. Over its 1000 years of history, Kazan has represented the core of the Tatar culture and national identity. Today, Kazan is a multiethnic city, where Russian and Tatar cultures coexist and the western and eastern traditions blend, giving birth to some unique features.

Kazan Sights – Museums and Historic Landmarks

Most Kazan sights fall into two distinctive categories: those situated in the upper town, where the Russian community used to live, and those situated in the lower town, which was mostly inhabited by the Tartars. The two historic quarters are located in the vicinity of the Bolaq Canal and the lake Qaban, respectively. If you happen to get lost, don’t panic: you’ll figure out in a second in which part of the city you are, judging after the numerous churches in the Russian district (Tikhvinskaya, Varvarinskaya) and the white minarets of the Tatar mosques (Apanay, Bornay, Nurullah).

The most distinctive landmark in Kazan is represented by the Kazan Kremlin, an old citadel of great historic importance. The Kremlin has been included on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and holds within its walls many other monuments, such as the Annunciation Cathedral, the Qol-Şärif mosque, the Governor’s House or the Secret Tower. Some of the most representative Kazan museums are: State Museum of Fine Arts of the Republic of Tatarstan, Bolgar State Reserve of History and Architecture or the National Museum of the Republic of Tatarstan. There are several memorial houses spread around the city that shouldn’t be missed: Lenin Memorial House and Museum, M. Jalil Memorail Flat, N. Zhiganov Memorial Flat or Konstantin Vasiljev Memorial Museum.

Kazan Sights – Culture and Entertainment

Kazan has quite a number of theaters and theater companies: Almetiyevsk State Tatar Drama Theatre, Bugulma State Russian Drama Theatre, Kazan Tatar State Theatre of Young Spectator, "Aekiyat" Tatar State Puppet Theatre or S. Amutbayev Menzelinsk State Tatar Drama Theatre. Ballet and classical music concerts are most likely to take place at S. Saydashev State Grand Concert Hall or G. Toukai Tatar State Philharmonic.

You might want to tale your children to the Kazan State Circus, as Russian circus artists are famous for their skill. Other popular places where you can spend some quality time with your family are the Kazan Water Park or the boats and cruise ships that take you up the Volga River. When you feel that you’ve visited enough Kazan sights, you can just take some of this cruise ships to a neighboring city like Samara or Saratov.

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