Kazan Kremlin

Kazan, Russia

The Kazan Kremlin is the historic citadel of Tatarstan. It was built at the behest of Ivan the Terrible on the ruins of the former castle of Kazan khans. The Kazan Kremlin includes many old buildings, the oldest of which is the Annunciation Cathedral (1554-62), the only 16th-century Russian church to have six piers and five apses. Like many of Kazan"s buildings of the period, it is constructed of local pale sandstone rather than of brick. The renowned Pskov architects Postnik Yakovlev and Ivan Shirjay were invited by the Tzar to rebuild Kazan Kremlin in stone. The cathedral bell tower was erected in five tiers at the urging of Ivan the Terrible and was scored to resemble the Ivan the Great Belltower in Moscow, but was pulled down by the Soviets in 1930.

The most conspicuous landmark of the Kazan Kremlin is the leaning Söyembikä Tower, which probably goes back to the reign of Peter the Great. A well-known legend connects the tower with the last queen of Kazan. Another recognizable architectural feature is the Spasskaya Tower, which anchors the southern end of the Kremlin and serves as the main entrance to the Kremlin.

The Spasskaya Tower is named after the Spassky Monastery, which used to be located nearby. Among the monastery"s buildings were the Church of St. Nicholas (1560s) and the Cathedral of the Saviour"s Transfiguration (1590s). They were destroyed by the Communists during Joseph Stalin"s rule.

Also of interest are snow-white towers and walls, erected in the 16th and 17th centuries but later renovated; the Qol-Şärif mosque, recently rebuilt inside the citadel; and the Governor"s House (1843-53), designed by Konstantin Thon, now the Palace of the President of Tatarstan. The Palace is believed to be located on the site of former Khan"s palace. Tucked between Presidential Palace and Söyembikä Tower is the palace church built on the foundation of medieval mosque.

Northern wall of the Kremlin contains another gated tower - Secret Tower, so named because it used to house a secret water supply well. This tower allows pedestrian access to Kremlin, but vehicle access is restricted to emergencies only.

The opening of the biggest mosque in Europe, the Qolşärif Mosque, was held in 2005. The facility was reconstructed on the site where presumably Kazan Khanate"s principal mosque had been standing before 1552.

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Details

Founded: 1556-1562
Category: Castles and fortifications in Russia

Rating

4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

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User Reviews

Geri Urumova (20 months ago)
Very beautiful place with well preserved buildings and river view. Some information like a leaflet or sign boards would be useful though.
Tanveer Masood (21 months ago)
The 1000 years old world heritage site is one of the top destinations to visit in Russia in the Republic of Tatarstan. It is a huge complex that houses a mosque, church and the Kremlin. It symbolizes the secular nature of Russia and how people of different faiths and ethnicities can live in harmony. Entrance is free and the best time to visit is in the afternoon.
Eric Nöh (2 years ago)
An excellent kept symbol of the city. The entire square is well maintained and gives you also a good view over the Wolga and city as well. Entrance is free so enjoy even in winter time. Please be aware of the so called self-nominated guides and taxi drivers which are awaiting you already at the entrance. If you are interested in a guided tour, spend the money for an official one.
Gregory (2 years ago)
An absolute must to visit if you're in Kazan. We had a couple of days here while travelling in Russia and enjoyed the beautiful mosque and Orthodox church, going inside both of them. Highly recommended
Rubén E Corredor A (2 years ago)
Overwhelming place, in some places it actually makes you feel like you're 800 years back in time. It has many interesting sights inside of the walls, and also some fascinating view to the city. It's a place where you can easily spend the whole day.
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