The Staro-Tatarskaya Sloboda is spread over the area of 87.95 hectares. In this area you can find 75 historic and cultural landmarks of the 18th – early 20th centuries, which shape the look of the Sloboda. Tour guides will probably draw your attention to the mansions of Tatar bourgeoisie and intelligentsia built dozens of years ago. These are the houses of Yunusov-Apanayev, Shamil, Marjani, Kayum Nasyri, Shamil Yusupov, etc. – the list goes on and on, but we think that in the Staro-Tatarskaya Sloboda it is important not so much to examine architectonic masterpieces as to try and feel the spirit of those times. Believe it or not, in the 19th century there was an Oriental club in the Sloboda, where famous authors read their poetry and where some of the first Tatar plays were staged. Several mosques well-known and revered in the whole world were also built here – the Apanayevskaya Mosque, the Blue Mosque, the Galeyevskaya, the Burnayevskaya mosques and, finally, the Sennaya (Nurullah) Mosque.
Other true landmarks of the Staro-Tatarskaya Sloboda are the literary museum of Tatar poet Ğabdulla Tuqay (Tukai), the memorial house of educator Kayum Nasyri, the Galiaskar Kamal Tatar Academy Theater and the Tatarskaya Usadba Hotel & Restaurant Complex, which also includes the Museum of Tatar Lifestyle, an artisan craftwork gallery and a souvenir shop. And there is a bit of a novelty – the Çäkçäk (ethnic Tatar sweet treat) Museum. Here you can have a cup of tea with some Oriental sweets and find out the secrets of traditional Tatar cuisine recipes.
On the whole, tours around the Sloboda allow you to study the traditions of the Tatar people, try some traditional Tatar cuisine, purchase halal food or, for instance, ichigi (ethnic Tatar shoes made using leather mosaic technique) with a kalapush (women’s headwear). And don’t forget the tubeteika (men’s headwear)! If shopping isn’t your thing, though, you can try handicrafts and visit some artisan shops.