by Wojciech Fedoruk - 10 months, 2 weeks ago
Kazan Kremlin is located in the very center of the city, in a short walk from the train station. Its white walls are visible from a long distance and that view is really pleasant. On the top of some towers there are metal flags with UNESCO signs.
The kremlin was built by tzar Ivan the Terrible after vanquishing of the whole Kazan Khanate and a complete destruction of Kazan. To commemorate the victory he ordered to build a magnificent Sobor Blagoveshchenski, which until recently was the biggest building in Kremlin. The sobor was a symbol of Christian Orthodox victory over Islam. Entry is free of charge, taking pictures forbidden.
But history is sometimes very tricky. In 2005 a beautiful mosque Kul Sharif was built in the centre of the Kremlin. Now the mosque is reigning on the Kremlin, especially at night, and shows renaissance of Islam in this region. Although the building is controversial, I liked it and think it composes well with other buildings of the Kremlin. It is possible to visit and to take photos in the mosque. Other important buildings are Soyembika Tower and Tatarstan president palace.
Entry to Kazan kremlin is free 24h and to praise its beauty I suggest going there during the day and at night. Overall Kazan is a stunning city, absolute pearl of the region and whole Russia, and can be compared with the best cities in Western Europe. In summertime the place is full of tourists, but almost all of them are Russians. Kazan was recently the host of some international sport competitions (including Universiade in 2013) and tries to be a cosmopolitan city easy to explore by foreigners. Although I am not sure whether it is so easy for those not speaking Russian, certainly it is easier than in most Russian cities, as at least all bus stops are announced in English.