City Orientation Walk, Kazan (Self Guided)

Kazan’s diverse cultural heritage, heavily inspired by the creativity of such well-known figures as Gorky and Shalyapin, also has a significant influence on the surrounding regions. Take the following tour to explore the traditions of this highly developed cultural center of Russia.
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City Orientation Walk Map

Guide Name: City Orientation Walk
Guide Location: Russia » Kazan (See other walking tours in Kazan)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 15
Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.1 km
Author: karenl
1
Kazan Kremlin

1) Kazan Kremlin

The Kazan Kremlin is a major historic citadel of Tatarstan, located in the region's capital. It was built at the behest of the Russian Tsar Ivan the “Terrible” on the ruins of the former castle of Kazan khans. The Kremlin comprises a number of historic buildings, the oldest of which is the Annunciation Cathedral. The highlight of the complex, however, is the leaning Söyembikä Tower. Other points of interest include the recently renovated Qol-Şärif mosque and the Governor's House, currently the Palace of the President of Tatarstan. In 2000 the entire complex was declared a World Heritage Site.
Sight description based on wikipedia
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Qolsharif Mosque

2) Qolsharif Mosque (must see)

The Qolşärif mosque in Kazan Kremlin, was reputed to be - at the time of its construction - the largest mosque in Russia, and in Europe outside of Istanbul. Originally, the mosque was built in the Kazan Kremlin in the 16th century. It was named after Qolşärif who served there. Qolsharif died with his numerous students while defending Kazan from Russian forces in 1552. It is believed that the building featured minarets, both in the form of cupolas and tents. Its design was traditional for Volga Bulgaria, although elements of early Renaissance and Ottoman architecture could have been used as well.

Qolsharif is considered to be one of the most important symbols of Tatar aspirations. Nowadays the mosque predominantly serves as a Museum of Islam. At the same time during the major Muslim celebrations thousands of people gather there to pray. The Qolsharif complex was envisioned to be an important cornerstone of Kazan's architectural landscape. Besides the main mosque building it includes a library, publishing house and Imam's office.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
National Gallery of Art Khazine

3) National Gallery of Art Khazine

The National Gallery of Art Khazine, located in the Kazan Kremlin Compound, was opened on August 23, 2005, the city’s millennial anniversary. Its amazing collection includes images of the old city, a Tukay exhibit, works by Chebeneva and a permanent exhibition of classic works by Feshina, Urmanche, Shishkin, Kuznetsov and others.
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Annunciation Cathedral

4) Annunciation Cathedral (must see)

Originally a wooden church replaced by a stone sanctuary, the Annunciation Cathedral was founded in 1552 and was the first Christian cathedral inside the walls of the Kazan Kremlin. Being one of Kazan’s oldest surviving monuments and architectures, the church was named after the Annunciation of the Most Holy Virgin and Ivan himself marked this site with a cross. Over the centuries it suffered fire damage, with heavy restoration of the exterior as well as new altars, cupolas and iconostasis, an exact replica of the original, added. The new cathedral, established in 1562, contains two side altars, the right one in honor of Saints Boris and Gleb, and the left in honor of the miracle workers, Peter and Fevroniya.
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Söyembikä Tower

5) Söyembikä Tower (must see)

Söyembikä Tower is probably the most familiar landmark and architectural symbol of Kazan. Once the highest structure of that city's Kremlin, it used to be one of the so-called leaning towers. By the early 20th century, its inclination was estimated at 194 cm (76 in). Diverse stabilization methods were used to straighten the tower in the 1930s and 1990s. The tower's construction date is enshrouded in mystery. Several scholars date its construction to the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries, when the tiered towers were exceedingly popular in Russia, but others date the tower to the 16th century, probably before 1552. In the Imperial period, the tower used to be topped with a double-headed eagle, which the Bolsheviks replaced with a red star. It is currently crowned with a Muslim crescent.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
6
Ministry of Agriculture and Foodstuff

6) Ministry of Agriculture and Foodstuff (must see)

Construction of the Ministry of Agriculture and Foodstuff began in spring 2008. One of Kazan’s most famous and amazing buildings, it features Renaissance elements, and a central element of a bronze tree with green lights representing leaves. The name of the building in Russian and Tataran can be found on its facade in metal letters.
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Gostiny Dvor

7) Gostiny Dvor (must see)

Located on the site of a medieval trade center, Gostiny Dvor is a monument of beautiful Russian architecture. From 1800 to 1803, a new building was constructed to replace the previous one from 1770 which had been destroyed by fire in 1797. Built in a Russian classical style, it is open on the west side and includes the Transfiguration of Christ Church. Having suffered numerous fires, its facade and interior have undergone several reconstructions.
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Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral

8) Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral (must see)

Consecrated in honor of Tsar Peter I of Russia, this cathedral built in 1722 is considered one of the most famous churches of the Naryshkin Baroque style, common in Russia in the first half of the 18th century. What mainly sets it apart from other Russian cathedrals are the numerous façade details, bright colors and décor, making it one of Kazan’s most valuable architectural and spiritual monuments. Particularly notable is the Smolensk-Sedmiozernaya Icon of Our Lady and the Iverskaya Icon of Our Lady.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
9
V. Kachalov Kazan Academic Russian Bolshoi Drama Theater

9) V. Kachalov Kazan Academic Russian Bolshoi Drama Theater (must see)

One of Russia’s oldest theaters, where the premiere of Shalyapin took place, Kachalov was 15 when his artistic career began in this very place. With a history dating back to 1791, this beautiful theater was the first to be built in Kazan. Currently, its repertoire includes over 20 spectacles of classic and modern plays.
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Bauman Street

10) Bauman Street

Bauman Street is a pedestrian street in the heart of Kazan. It is named after Nikolay Bauman, prominent Russian revolutionary and friend of Vladimir Lenin. The street starts at the foot of the Kazan Kremlin and stretches to Tukay Square, the central square of the city. Peculiar thing about Bauman Street is the multicolored brick pavement, two lines of lanterns and linden alley, all of which make it a comfortable place to unwind after a long hard day sitting on one of the benches or taking a stroll. The street often plays host to various fairs and public celebrations. It is also home to a number of offices, shops and hotels, as well as, most notably, to the Alley of Tatar Stars.
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Epiphany Cathedral & Belltower

11) Epiphany Cathedral & Belltower (must see)

Founded in 1897, Epiphany Cathedral & Bell Tower is one of the highest constructions in the city, its bell tower a prominent view when walking down Bauman Street. Designed in the Russian Baroque style, later, an attic, a cupola, a dining room and a belfry were added. No other bell tower in Kazan matches its height and beauty, making it more famous than the church itself. It houses a wonderful collection of valuable icons and relics of Metropolitan Alexy.
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Kazan State University

12) Kazan State University (must see)

Founded in 1804, Kazan State University, one of Russia’s largest and oldest universities, is famous for having Vladimir Lenin as a student. Known as a forerunner in the study of chemistry due to the works of Arbuzov and Butlerov, the university became one of the largest centers of education, culture and science. The oldest part of the building contains three portals along its white facade.
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Djalil Opera and Ballet Tatar State Academic Theater

13) Djalil Opera and Ballet Tatar State Academic Theater (must see)

The Djalil Opera and Ballet Tatar State Academic Theater opened in December 1938 with a performance of Zhiganov’s Runaway. Construction began in 1933, according to the design of architect N. Skvortsov. In 1948 I. Gaynutdinov worked out the facades and interior in a classical style with national elements. Its repertoire includes the works of Russian and international composers, featuring operas, ballets and musical comedies.
14
Kazan City Hall

14) Kazan City Hall (must see)

Located on Liberty Square, Kazan City Hall was founded in 1858. This two-story building resembles an Italian palazzo, with a classical eclectic facade and interior and dry frescoed walls. One of Kazan’s most unique architectures, it hosts a variety of presentations, international conferences and ceremonial events.
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S. Saydashev State Grand Concert Hall

15) S. Saydashev State Grand Concert Hall

The S. Saydashev State Grand Concert Hall, opened in 1996, is one of Kazan’s largest performing arts auditoriums. Consisting of three halls, with modern luxuries, technical equipment and acoustics, it features international music festivals and competitions, world premieres and also the inauguration of the President of the Republic of Tatarstan.

Walking Tours in Kazan, Russia

Create Your Own Walk in Kazan

Create Your Own Walk in Kazan

Creating your own self-guided walk in Kazan is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Famous Architecture in Kazan

Famous Architecture in Kazan

Kazan’s architectural splendors make for an enchanting experience to visitors of this historic city. Its most significant landmarks are located in the center of the city, including the famous Qolsharif Mosque and Söyembikä Tower. Discover Kazan’s most popular architectural attractions in the following tour.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.7 km
Kazan Churches Tour

Kazan Churches Tour

Kazan’s religious traditions have evolved from primitive paganism to Christianity and Islam. Orthodox Christianity rapidly spread throughout the city in the middle of the 16th century and various nationalities, including Russians, Mordovins, Maris and and some Tatars, converted. Take this tour to discover Kazan’s most amazing churches.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.0 km
Kazan Mosques Tour

Kazan Mosques Tour

The beautiful city of Kazan sees a greater number of tourists each year. Famous for its amazing mosques with stunning minarets and Muslim architecture, the following tour will lead you to the city’s most significant ones.

Tour Duration: 4 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 9.9 km
Museums Tour in Kazan

Museums Tour in Kazan

Kazan has served as a cultural crossroads of many regions, providing it with amazing architecture and places of interest. It features several fascinating museums you will surely enjoy. Take the following tour to discover Kazan’s charming history and cultural roots.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.9 km
Kazan Kids Entertainment Tour

Kazan Kids Entertainment Tour

Kazan has a variety of attractions for children, including Millennium Park, a wax museum, circus and the Kazan Zoo and Botanical Garden. To have fun with the entire family be sure to check out the following tour of Kazan’s most amazing sites for children.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.3 km

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Kazan for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Kazan has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Kazan, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.