According to HARVARDSHOES, Kazan is the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan. The city is located 800 km east of Moscow and is one of the largest ports on the Volga River.
The city arose in the period from the 10th to the 11th centuries as an outpost on the northwestern borders of the Volga Bulgaria. The first mention of the fortress in chronicles dates back to 1177. It guarded the Volga trade route and itself became an important trading point connecting the West with the East. In the 13th century, the fortified settlement was moved a little further up the river. At the end of the 13th century, the Volga Bulgaria was conquered by the Mongol-Tatars, and a little later the fortress was captured (in Tatar – Kerman). Since then, Kerman became a major trading center of the Golden Horde. In the 14th century, the Golden Horde was defeated by the troops of Tamerlane, which served as an impetus for the migration of peoples to the north of the former empire. It is believed that it was the settlers who named the Kerman fortress Kazan, which means “cauldron” in Tatar. According to legend, the Bulgars, having arrived here, drowned the golden cauldron of the Bulgar king in the waters of the local river. The 15th century was marked by the flourishing of Kazan – minting of its own money began here, and in 1438, after the final collapse of the Golden Horde, Kazan became the capital of the Kazan Khanate. At the beginning of the 15th century, the construction of a new Kremlin falls. From the middle of the 15th century, constant internecine wars took place in the khanate, which ultimately weakened the state. In 1552, on the second attempt Kazan was taken by the army of Ivan the Terrible, after which the Kazan Khanate was annexed to the Russian kingdom. By order of the tsar, all fortress mosques were destroyed, and in 1556, on the site of the former Kremlin, Pskov architects sent to build a new fortress, the appearance of which has survived to this day. Since 1708, Kazan has become the center of the vast Kazan province. In the 18th century, manufactories began to appear here, a men’s gymnasium was opened, and in 1767, after visiting Kazan, Empress Catherine II allowed the construction of mosques in the city and granted the local population freedom of religion. In 1774 Kazan was taken and badly destroyed by the troops of Yemelyan Pugachev. The 19th century was the century of the development of education and culture, the main event of which was the foundation in 1804 of the Kazan Imperial University. In 1917, Kazan became the second city after Petrograd, where Soviet power was proclaimed, and in 1920 it received the status of the capital of the Tatar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. During the Great Patriotic War, large enterprises of the central part of the USSR were evacuated to the city, which remained here after the end of the war. Kazan has been the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan since 1990. Today Kazan is one of the largest cultural and industrial centers of Russia.
Old city of Kazan located on the left bank of the Kazanka River. The historical buildings of the 19th and 20th centuries are well preserved here, but you can also see older buildings of a wide variety of architectural styles. The architecture of the Old City combines the traditions of the West and the East – numerous Orthodox cathedrals harmoniously coexist with mosques. The most ancient monuments preserved in the Old City were built after the annexation of the Kazan Khanate to the Russian kingdom, that is, they date back to the second half of the 16th century.
The central place in the image of the Old City is occupied by the State Historical, Cultural and Natural Museum-Reserve “Kazan Kremlin”. It is located near the embankment of the Kazanka River on the Kremlin Hill, 28 meters high. The museum was established in 1994 to preserve the unique architectural ensemble of the Kazan Kremlin. In 2000, the Kremlin ensemble was included in the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage List. The museum is located on an area of approximately 15 hectares. On its territory, archaeologists found many items that made it possible to determine the time of formation of the ancient fortified settlement of the Volga Bulgars. The fortress was founded in the period from the end of the 10th to the beginning of the 11th centuries. At first, its buildings were wooden, and in the 12th century, stone fortifications began to be erected on this site. During the reign of the Golden Horde and later, during the formation of the Kazan Khanate, the fortress was called Kerman. During the capture of Kazan the army of Ivan the Terrible destroyed all the walls and mosques of Kerman, and after the conquest of the Kazan Khanate, the Russian Tsar ordered to build a new Kremlin on the site of Kerman. For this, Pskov architects were invited to Kazan – Postnik Yakovlev and Ivan Shiryai, known as the authors of St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow.