Sightseeing

Alexandrov Passage

The pastel rose coloured grand mansion is one of the main adornments of Kazan. Henry Rush, the architect of the houses of Shamil and Kekin, built it in 1883 by order of the wealthy Kazan merchant Alexandrov. In those days the mansion was considered very tall – a whole five floors in height. Inside it contained a lift, air conditioning, and even electric lighting. The building was considered especially unique due to its lantern-shaped roof and a glass coated courtyard. The owner had big plans for the passage: he wanted to make it a lucrative place, but the maintenance costs turned out to be unbearable. The building had to be sold, and was soon re-opened as a science museum, and then later served other numerous purposes: as a newspaper editorial space, workshops, and retail shops. At the end of 1908 an electric theatre occupied the building with a state-of-the-art gypsum screen. The atmosphere of wealth basked in this space, and the mansion was decorated with bas-reliefs and fountains. Exhausted by the changes and lack of care, the building could not stand it any longer: in 1997 the ground subsided and the house collapsed. The decorative finish and the last gas lamp in Kazan are now lost forever. A unique clock with bells however remains on the building of the mansion.

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