Kazan is the Istanbul of the Volga, a place where Europe and Asia curiously inspect each other from the tops of church belfries and minarets. It is about 150 years older than Moscow and the capital of the Tatarstan Republic – the land of the Volga Tatars, a Turkic people commonly associated with Chinggis Khaan’s hordes.
Tatar autonomy is strong here and is not just about bilingual street signs. Moscow has pumped vast sums into the republic to persuade it to remain a loyal part of Russia.
Although Tatar nationalism is strong, it is not radical, and the local version of Sunni Islam is very moderate. Slavic Russians make up about half of the population, and this cultural conflux of Slavic and Tatar cultures makes Kazan an all-the-more-interesting city.
Kul Shariff mosque
Indeed , the most remarkable attraction of Kazan. The white marble mosque can be seen from all over the central area , and its vision surprised and hypnotyzed.
It was built and released in 2005 , the 1000th anniversary of Kazan , so it is a brand new mosque , that figures as an icon of Kazan and the main attraction of Kremlin.
The Kremlin of Kazan
The Kremlin of Kazan is really impressive and it is still totally surrounded by strong walls that were built by Ivan the Terrible. And like in the ancient times the Kremlin is also used as the seat of the local government and there is a mosque and a russian orthodox church.
You will be able to drive around the Kremlin-walls on public streets and for entering it you have to pay a small entrance-fee. Photography was no problem except inside the mosque and the orthodox church.
Ushkova's House - The National Library of Kazan
The National Library of Kazan was built in 1908 and it is a house with lovely ornate Art-Nouveau-decorations all over the facade. It was originally built for a rich merchant named Ushkov, that is where the name "Ushkova's House" comes from.