For more than a thousand years of its history, the white-stone, symbolic and legendary Kazan Kremlin has heard almost every language of the world and hosted common tourists, ministers and presidents alike. Imperious-looking and powerful, it calls Muslims to the prayer in mosques and at the same time lets Orthodox church bells ring loud. By becoming a home to numerous museums, it invites guests from all over the planet every day. This architectural and historic monument was rightly included in UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage List as early as in 2000.
“This is a must see!” - that’s the main impression you are going to get from the Kazan Kremlin, the pride of Tatarstan. Its vast territory not only contains the residence of the President Tatarstan and administrative buildings, but also the Kul Sharif Mosque, the Blagoveschensky (Annunciation) Cathedral and the famous Syuymbike Tower, which is, by the way, one of the few leaning structures in the world. Made of red bricks, it strikes your eye at the first glance. The construction of the Tower is shrouded in legends – which, on the other hand, could be said about the whole thousand year history of the Kazan Kremlin. One of such legends tells about a great underground kingdom under the city, where a fire-breathing dragon called Zilant dwells. The underground of Kazan is also mentioned in the descriptions of the trench under the Kremlin walls dug out by Ivan the Terrible’s army. The trench started from the famous Dair bath house on the bank of the Bolaq River, whose impressive masonry vaults were used as protection from air attacks.
The Kazan Kremlin State History, Culture and Art Preserve Museum was founded on the territory of the modern Kremlin exactly 20 years ago. The total area of this preserve museum is about 150 thousand sq. m, the outside perimeter of the walls is about 1800 meters, there are 8 fortress towers, and 3 of them are gate towers. Today tours are organized here almost in all languages of the world and permanent museum exhibitions are open to visitors.
The pride of the Republic is popular with bright young people as well, with such regular events as the Kremlin LIVE International Modern Culture Festival, Night at Kazan Kremlin and the Kremlin Readings.
Those who get tired of exploring the treasures of the white-stone miracle, are advised to take some rest at a small restaurant, which is located right behind the thick walls in the Pushechny Dvor (Cannon Yard) building.
Kazan Kremlin never sleeps. In the daytime it hosts guests, and at night it switches its beautiful illumination on, making everyone admire the ancient architecture in new and exciting ways.
The Kazan Kremlin complex was formed over the period of the 10th – 21st centuries. It includes the Kazan Kremlin hillfort (10th – 16th centuries), the stone and brick Kremlin (16th – 18th centuries), architectural structures (16th – 19th centuries), a complex of defensive structures, including walls and eight towers (16th – 18th centuries). In the pre-Mongolian period, from the 11th to the first half of the 13th centuries, Kazan Kremlin used to be a military and trade settlement. In the 12th century it becomes an outpost on the North border of Volga Bulgaria. From the second half of the 13th century till the first half of the 15th century the Kremlin turns into the center of the Kazan principality of the Golden Horde, and after its collapse it becomes the administrative and military center of the Khanate of Kazan. After the Siege of Kazan in 1552 by Ivan the Terrible’s army the city becomes the administrative and military center of the annexed Volga region. In 1708 the Kremlin was the center of Kazan Governorate, in 1922 it became the administrative center of the Tatar Autonomous Republic, and from 1992 on it is the state center of the Republic of Tatarstan as a part of the Russian Federation.
Bus numbers: 6, 15, 29, 35, 35а, 37, 47, 74, 74а, 75 to the Tsentralny (Central Stadium) stop
Trolleybus numbers: 2, 10 to the Tsentralny (Central Stadium) stop
Metro: the Kremlevskaya (the Kremlin) station