If you’re not from Russia forget everything you think you know about Russia. Instead, take a trip to Kazan, one of the most diverse, historical and beautiful cities in Russia and explore its 1000-year heritage, something Moscow and St Petersburg can’t brag about.
Here are 20 random facts about Kazan from our Moscow guide Vera.
- Kazan is one of the host cities for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and 2018 FIFA World Cup, as well as 2019 WorldSkills Championship.
- Kazan is one of the oldest cities not only in Russia but in Eastern Europe as well. Only Prague and Kiev are actually older than the capital of Tatarstan.
- The city of Kazan is located in southwest Russia, approx 1.30-hour flight from Moscow.
- Kazan could have been a stop on a Volga trade route from Scandinavia to Baghdad in 11th and 12th centuries.
- Russia under Ivan the Terrible conquered the city in 1552 which resulted in the end of slavery.
- On 30 August, 2015 Kazan celebrated its 1010 anniversary. Kazan is one of 15 Russian cities with population of more than 1 million. This beautiful city is often called “the third capital of the Russia”.
- Kazan has two pedestrian streets: Bauman and Peterburzhskaya streets. Their total lenght is around 2.5 km.
- The central city is divided into two districts by the Bolaq Canal and Lake Qaban. The first district (Kazanskiy Posad), historically Russian, is situated on the hill, the second (Staro-Tatarskaya Sloboda), historically Tatar, is located between the Bolaq and the Volga River.
- The tallest fountain in the city is located close to the Qaban lake with its 50 meters of water spray. This area is well-known for the best places to walk around as it has a great park and many attractions around.
- Starting from 1897 the Tatarians has been considered as one of the most educated people. Back in the old days when the Russian Empire held a population census it was the Tatarians who were able to read and write in Turkish and Arabian languages.
- Nowadays Tatarstan has two official languages: Tatarian and Russian.
- The largest river of Eastern Europe – Volga river – flows through Tatarstan.
- Kazan has a humid continental climate with long, cold winters (colder than Moscow), and warm, often dry summers. The record low temperature in January has been −46.8 C (−52.2 F).
- The most famous landmark of the city and whole Republic of Tatarstan is Kazan Kremlin which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000.
- The most popular symbol of Kazan is Soyembika Tower, also called the Khan Mosque. It is the highest tower of Kazan Kremlin, also famous for being a leaning tower. At the beginning of the 20th century its inclination was 194 cm.
- Kazan boasts the largest IT-park in Russia which is also one of the largest of its kind in Eastern Europe.
- Kazan metro is included in the Guinness Book as the shortest metro in the world. The way from one side to another is just 10 stations and will take you only 10 minutes. Interesting fact: Kazan metro was the only one which was built after the breakup of the Soviet Union.
- Tatarstan is also famous for having chak-chak (fried honey cake) as the main part of ethnic cuisine. The biggest 1000-kilogram chak-chak was made by 20 cookery experts for the celebration of 1000 anniversary of Kazan in 2005.
- Kazan has approximately 17 sister cities, among them are Istanbul, Ankara (Turkey) and Guangzhou (China).
- In terms of sport Kazan is one of the most developed cities in Russia. The city hosted two World Championships in Field Hockey in 2005 and 2011, World Summer Universiade in 2013, World Championship in Fencing in 2014, Aquatics Championship FINA in 2015.
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