The city with a mysterious name and with no less mysterious, marvelous and magnificent history has been situated more than thousand years on the green open spaces of Eurasia in the land of forests, lakes and fields cultivated from the earliest times in the place where the small Kazanka River flows into the largest European river Volga. Kazan is one of the industrial, scientific and cultural centers of the Volga Region. The influences, tendencies and innermost secrets of the eastern and Western civilizations merged and mingled together in its history from time immemorial.
Kazan is a capital of the Tatarstan Republic. Kazan is situated on the left bank of the largest European River Volga approximately in its middle, on the intersection of earth-based and air communications. Kazan is situated 720 kilometers to the east from Moscow, 794 km by railway, 830 km by car and 750 km by flight. The Kazanka River and Kaban Lake divide the city into three parts; its area is about 292 square kilometers. There are 1540 streets and lanes in Kazan; it is population is more than 1,200,000 people of 77 nationalities. Time zone is central, the same as in Moscow. Time difference from Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) +3 hours.
Founded in 1804, Kazan State University is the second oldest university in the Russian Federation. The university has made a considerable contribution to the humanities and natural philosophy during more than two centuries of its history. An internationally acknowledged centre of academic excellence, it is routinely listed among the 5 to 10 best institutions of higher education in the country. The history of KSU is associated with many world-renowned figures, like the father of non-Euclidian geometry, Nikolai Lobachevsky; the writer, Leo Tolstoy; the discoverer of the Antarctic, Ivan Simonov; the founder of organic chemistry, Alexander Butlerov; a father of modern linguistics, Ivan Baudouin de Courtenay; the discoverer of electron spin resonance, Evgeniy Zavoisky; and the Soviet leader Vladimir Ulianov, otherwise known as Lenin. Today many of our graduates are prominent politicians, famous professionals, successful businessmen and distinguished scholars working in a variety of countries.
Kazan State Technical University was established in 1932. Until the recent time it was well known as Kazan Aironautical Institute. The history of the Kazan State Technical University is closely connected with the progress of aeronautics (aircraft-building, helicopter-building, aircraft-engines-building) in Russia. Fundamental education and profound scientific research are the distinguishing features of this university which make it very attractive for the great number of young people. In 1973 the Institute was named after the prominent aircraft designer Andrey Tupolev.
At present, about 125000 students study at Kazan’s 15 higher educational universities and institutions.
You can reach Kazan directly by plane from Frankfurt, Berlin, Rome, Barcelona, Prague, Istanbul and other cities or via Moscow (International Airports “Sheremetevo-2” and “Domodedovo”) and then by plane (from Moscow ~1.2 hour) or train (from Moscow ~12 hours) to Kazan. There are several flights a day from “Domodedovo” and “Sheremetevo-1” Airports of Moscow to Kazan. There are 7 trains a day from “Kazansky” Railway Station of Moscow to Kazan.
Kazan is situated in the moderate-continental climate zone. Weather in Kazan at the end of August is pleasant, not too hot. The average temperature (following the long-years records) in August is +17°C (from +12°C to +22°C). The average rainfall: 450-600 millimeters.
Kazan has many hotels ranging in price between 60 to 200 Euro per room per night (3-5 star hotels). The bed and breakfast rates in Kazan normally charged are below the national average.
Kazan is an old city. Ten centuries ago, as far back as the 11-th century, it was first mentioned in the chronicles. Kazan is a city of architectural contrasts with old private mansions built in the Russian baroque style, old churches and mosques rub shoulder with the city’s new modern districts. At the foot of the old Kremlin lies the city’s largest stadium, the Palace of Sports and the unique building of the Kazan Circus. Large new residential districts with wide treelined streets have been built in the city’s former suburbs. Peter the Great, Catherine the great, Pushkin, Lobachevsky, Tolstoy, Aksakov, Derzhavin, Gorky, Lenin, Mayakovsky either lived or stayed in Kazan. It was the home of Fyodor Chaliapin, an outstanding singer. The Musa Jalil Tatar Opera and Ballet Theatre presents European, Russian and Tatar operas, ballets and musical comedies. The theatre has been many times the scene of the celebrated Shalyapin and Nuriev festivals. The Symphony orchestra and visiting musicians give concerts in the Magnificent Concert Hall at the Kazan Conservatoire.
The oldest part of the city is that where the Kremlin stands. It was built in the middle of the 16-th century by the famous Pskov master Posnik Yakovlev. The Kazan Kremlin is a complete architectural ensemble that retains everything from last centuries. It is surrounded by high walls of white stone with specific loopholes and thirteen hipped roof towers. The Kazan Kremlin was very impressive in the ancient times. Russian chronicler tells in the story of Kazan capture that the czar Ivan the Terrible was astonished seeing its “unusual beauty of the citadel walls”. Entrance to the Kremlin from the side of the Kazanka River goes through the age-old Tainitskaya Tower built in the Middle Ages. From its balcony you can enjoy an impressive sight of quays, dike dams and stretches of the Large Volga River, bridges over the Kazanka River and new blocks on the other side of the river. The Kazan Kremlin is very impressive and people astonish seeing its unusual beauty.
The main Orthodox Christian Church temple Petropavlovsky Cathedral was built in 1723-26 in memory of the Emperor Peter the First’s visit in Kazan. The Petropavlovsky Cathedral always has been mentioned in accounts and documents as the most important and beautiful but unfortunately fires wrecked it frequently. The Petropavlovsky Cathedral has acquired its present appearance 0nly in 1890 after many reconstructions and it has become one of the best pearls of Kazan. Today the Petropavlovsky Cathedral functions and imperishable truths are preached in its precinct as before.
The young czar Ioan Vasilyevich chose himself the place for the Blagoveshensky Cathedral. The construction began in 1552 and in August 1562 the white stone five-domed building was finished and divine services started. Frequent fires wrecked the Blagoveshensky Cathedral and its appearance was reconstructed only in the eighties of the XX century. Restoration has been continued since the present day and divine services start again.
Krestovozdvishensky Monastery is now located in the place, where the icon of Kazan Virgin was founded in 1579. The icon was stolen in 1904 and in 1929 the Monastery was closed. But in 1994 the divine services started again. Now day the miracle-working icon of Kazan Virgin is kept in the Monastery. It was presented by Pontific Ioan Pavel II to the Russian Church in 2004 and in 2005 Patriarchy Alexey II visiting Kazan, gifted it to the Monastery.
The Azimov Mosque was built in 1887 or 1888 It is a unique splendid temple different from the other Kazan mosques. The outline of the Mosque is specifically dynamic because an architect succeeded in combing of simple geometric shapes with the superfine contour of decorative details so impressive shapes of the building look almost weightless and as if they hover above ground.
Local craftsmen built the Margani Mosque in 1766-70 according to the project of the architect V.Kaftirev. It is one of the oldest existing mosques in Kazan and its Bulgarian-Tatar décor and carved stone ornament became a real pearl of the city. Minaret in the spirit of authentic Tatar architecture is situated on the green hipped roof of the Margani Mosque. I was named after the great religious reformer, person of encyclopedic knowledge, historian Shigabetdin Margani.
The Qol-Sharif Mosque was named after the religious leader Qol-Sharif Mosque. He was a statesman and religious leader of Khanate of Kazan, Old Tatar language-poet. He participated in some diplomatic missions on behalf of Kazan khans to Muscovy and there carried out negotiations for the khanate's independence. In 1552 he was one of leaders of Kazan's defense from the Russian troops of Ivan the Terrible. He also participated in the negotiations with Russian representatives in Sviyajsk . After the storm of Kazan started, he organized a group of shakirds (students) and defended the Khan Palace. He was killed durning the battle. Later, four of his poems were included in "The Book of Baqırğan". Qol-Sharif 's literary legacy was published in "O, soil, may be this world", a collection of verses (Kazan, 1997). It is believed that the authorship of the dastan "Qíssai Xöbbi xuca" also belongs to him. It was published in 1889.
Raifa Virgin Monastery was founded in 1613. This Monastery is one magnificent places of Russia. It is situated on the bank of the splendid like and surrounded with great wood. It is also the place where the miracle-working icon of the Grusinskaya Mother of Got is kept. Many pilgrims from all over the world visit it and astonish its beauty.
Settlement Swiyazsk was established in 1551 on island by the young Tzar Ivan the Terrible. It was the first Orthodox town in the middle Volga region, where from the Orthodox religion was extended. It is unique historical and cultural complex which was constructed in 16-20 centuries. Restoration has been confined since the present day.
There is an excellent opportunity to participate in the post-conference Volga-river tour on comfortable ship from Kazan to Moscow visiting historical places of ancient Russian towns. It takes five days.