Kazan (Russian: Каза́нь; IPA: [kɐˈzanʲ]; Tatar Cyrillic: Казан, Latin: Qazan) is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia. With a population of 1,143,535, it is the eighth most populous city in Russia. Kazan lies at the confluence of the Volga and Kazanka Rivers in European Russia.
The Kazan Kremlin is a World Heritage Site. In 2005, the Medal «In Commemoration of the 1000th Anniversary of Kazan» was established by Russia to denote this landmark event. The multi-ethnic city is honored by UNESCO and famous for Muslims and Christians living side-by-side in peace.
City will host will host 2018 FIFA World Cup matches.
In April 2009, the Russian Patent Office granted Kazan the right to brand itself as the «Third Capital» of Russia. In 2009 it was chosen as the «Sports capital of Russia» and it still is referred to as such. The city hosted the 2013 Summer Universiade,2014 World Fencing Championships and will host the 2015 World Aquatics Championships, and 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Kazan has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb) with long cold winters and warm, often hot dry summers. The warmest month is July with daily mean temperature near 20.2 °C (68.4 °F), and the coldest month is January, with a daily mean of −10.4 °C (13.3 °F).
Ethnicity and religion
The city’s population consists mostly of ethnic Russians (48.6%) and ethnic Tatars (47.6%). The other ethnicities are Chuvash, Ukrainians,Azerbaijanis, and Jews. Predominant faiths of Kazan city are Sunni Islam and Eastern Orthodoxy with Catholicism, Protestantism,Judaism, Krishnaism, and the Bahá’í Faith also counted.
The city has a citadel (Russian: кремль, tr. kreml’, or sometimes Tatar: kirman), which was declared a World Heritage Site in 2000. Major monuments in the kremlin are the five-domed six-columned Annunciation Cathedral (1561–62) and the mysterious leaning Soyembika Tower, named after the last queen of Kazan and regarded as the city’s most conspicuous landmark.
Also of interest are the towers and walls, erected in the 16th and 17th centuries but later reconstructed; the Qol-Şarif mosque, which is already rebuilt inside the citadel; remains of the Saviour Monastery (its splendid 16th-century cathedral having been demolished by the Bolsheviks) with the Spasskaya Tower; and the Governor’s House (1843–53), designed by Konstantin Thon, now the Palace of thePresident of Tatarstan.
Next door, the ornate baroque Sts-Peter-and-Paul’s Cathedral on Qawi Nacmi Street and Marcani mosque on Qayum Nasiri Street date back to the 18th century.
Bistä, or Posad
Central Kazan is divided into two districts by the Bolaq canal and Lake Qaban. The first district (Qazan Bistäse or Kazanskiy Posad), historically Russian, is situated on the hill, the second (İske Tatar Bistäse or Staro-Tatarskaya Sloboda), historically Tatar, is situated between the Bolaq and the Volga. Mosques, such as Nurullah, Soltan, Bornay, Apanay, Äcem, Märcani, İske Taş, Zäñgär are in the Tatar district. Churches, such as Blagoveschenskaya, Varvarinskaya, Nikol’skaya, Tikhvinskaya, are mostly in the Russian part of the city. The main city-centre streets are Bauman, Kremlyovskaya, Dzerzhinsky, Tuqay, Puşkin, Butlerov, Gorkiy, Karl Marx and Märcani.
An old legend says that in 1552, before the Russian invasion, wealthy Tatars (baylar) hid gold and silver in Lake Qaban.
In the beginning of the 1900s most of Central Kazan was covered by wooden buildings, usually consisting of two floors. There was a historical environment of Kazan citizens, but not the best place to live in. During the Republican program «The liquidation of ramshackle apartments» most of them (unlike other Russian cities), especially in Central Kazan, where the land is not cheap, were destroyed and their population was moved to new areas at the suburb of the city (Azino, Azino-2, Quartal 39). Nearly 100,000 citizens resettled by this programme.
Other major buildings
Another significant building in central Kazan is the former «Smolentzev and Shmelev» tea house and hotel, now the Shalyapin Palace Hotel. It is located at 7/80 Universitetskaya Street, at the corner of Universitetskaya and Bauman. A major landmark of late-19th and early-20th century commercial architecture, it consists of two portions. The original portion, built for a merchant named Usmanov in the 1860s, was bought by the inter-related families of Efim Smolentzev and Pavel and Nikolai Shmelev in 1899.They operated a store selling, among other things, tea. In 1910, the Smolentevs and Shmelevs constructed another portion, designed by architect Vasili Trifonov, and operated a hotel there.After the Russian Revolution, the building eventually became the Hotel Soviet and after 2000 it was heavily renovated to reopen as the Shalyapin Palace Hotel.
Hotels in Kazan