Kazan, Republic of Tatarstan, Russia
Kazan is one of the major Russian cities, significant economical, political, scientific and cultural center. It lies on the Volga River in European Russia,
800 km east of Moscow. Population of Kazan city is over 1 million people; it is the sixth largest city in Russia.
Kazan is the capital city of the Republic of Tatarstan, one of the highly developed republics of the Russian Federation from the economic point of view.
Kazan has a 1000 year history, rich with cultural and historical monuments, and the Kazan Kremlin is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Kazan is an attractive city to Russians and foreign tourists, who like to come more and more every year. The city is famous for its Opera and
Ballet theaters, Art museums, International festivals, libraries, the newest technologies and strong scientific potentials.
Archeological excavations on the territory of Kazan Kremlin provided evidence that the first fortress of Kazan was founded at the turn of Xth–XIth centuries
by Volga Bulgars. In 1438 Kazan became the capital of Khanate of Kazan,
in 1552 the city was conquered by Ivan IV and became a significant and integral part of the Russian state. The famous Kazan Kremlin was built after the siege of Kazan
on the ruins of the former castle.
The wall and towers of Kazan Kremlin, including the remarkable Spasskaya Tower over the main entrance, were mostly built by master builders from Pskov,
a city on the north-west of Russia, and thus it shares common features with the Pskov Kremlin.
Later, in 17th-18th century, the most familiar landmark and architectural symbol of Kazan, the leaning Söyembikä Tower, was built.
There are both ancient and modern buildings among numerous Kazan Kremlin sights. The oldest one is the Annunciation Cathedral built in 1554-1562,
and the newest one is the Qolşärif mosque built in 1996-2005 in place of the mosque destroyed in 1552.
Lots of landmarks are located outside the Kazan Kremlin in downtown. Impressive churches and mosques of XVI–XIXth centuries are displaying various
architectural styles and cobine features of both the Russian and Tartar traditions, resulting in unique historical monuments.
The most popular among tourists are the central Kremlyovskaya and Baumana streets, which feature XIXth century buildings, though the majority of Kazan historical
environment was comprised of wooden two-storey buildings that were destroyed during "The liquidation of ramshackle apartments" program, which improved the citizens' living
conditions and modernized the city's appearance.
In 2005 Kazan's Millennium was widely celebrated. The celebrations included several years of vast renovation and modernization.
New parks, hotels, casinos, bars, cafes and restaurants were built, historical landmarks were restored. At the Kazan International Airport
a new terminal was opened. The city transportation system was significantly expanded, the first subway line opened.
Kazan has one of the oldest Russian universities, a branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences and a number
of academical institutes. Kazan State University was founded in 1804 and is the second oldest university in Russia.
Many distinguished scientists worked at KSU: the famous Russian mathematician Nikolai Lobachevsky, who was the founder of non-Euclidian geometry,
was its rector; Aleksandr Butlerov, Vladimir Markovnikov, Aleksandr Arbuzov, who were the fathers of organic chemistry;
the Polish linguist Jan Baudouin de Courtenay. The KSU is known as the birthplace of Electron Spin Resonance due to the work of Evgeny Zavoisky.
The university is still named after its most famous alumnus Vladimir Ulianov-Lenin.
Kazan Scientific Center was founded in 1945 as a branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. It includes 5 research institutes
including the Kazan Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics and the A.E. Arbuzov Institute of Organic and Physical Chemistry.