Kazan. The capital of Tatarstan. Recently, this city has been attracting tourists not only with its thousand-year history, but also with large-scale sports events. Most recently, the 2013 Universiade of Students took place, and this year Kazan is hosting the World Aquatics Championships.
We had been planning a trip to Kazan for a long time, but it turned out only during the January 2015 holidays. Initially, we were going to go by car, from Yekaterinburg to Kazan 1100 km, but since the January holidays were rather cool and there were only girls in our company, we decided to go by train.
The most convenient in terms of time seemed to us train 139Н (Novosibirsk-Adler), which departs from Yekaterinburg at 18:19 local time and arrives in Kazan at 6 am. The time in Kazan is Moscow time, that is, it differs from ours by 2 hours.
Tickets were purchased on the website rzd.ru. When boarding, as well as on a plane, we were asked only for passports.
Night in the company of snoring neighbors and the smell of Doshirak, and you are in Kazan!
Our hotel was booked through booking, and since it was located not far from the station, we walked around the still sleeping city, since we had few things with us.
Since we were in Kazan for 2.5 days, our schedule was tight.
The first day.
Sightseeing tour of Kazan
We bought a sightseeing tour in the excursion center of Kazan (Pushkin street, 4), which is located in the hotel complex “Tatarstan”. A 3-hour trip cost 700 rubles per person. The bus was full (about 40 people), the tour guide was terrible. The microphone did not work. Everything that the woman guide said could only be heard while being in close proximity to her.
After several attempts to hear her, we relaxed and just watched Kazan from the windows of the bus. A standard tour includes the following city objects – Kazan Kremlin (Kul Sharif Mosque, Syuyumbike Tower, Peter and Paul Cathedral), Marjani Mosque, Kazan Mother of God Monastery.
Then we just rolled around the city, watching from the windows – the Palace of Farmers, the Millennium Bridge, the Old Tatar Sloboda, Lake Kaban, Sukonnaya Sloboda, museums and theaters of the city.
Output. If finances allow, it is better to order an individual guide with a private car. We planned so, but we did not have time. All the guides were dismantled for the winter break.
Bauman Street, one of the oldest streets in Kazan, is our Weiner. Pedestrian zone of Kazan. Among the historical sites on Bauman there is the Epiphany Cathedral with a bell tower.
In addition, there are numerous cafes, souvenir shops, a cinema and other places for recreation and entertainment on Bauman.
A stroll through Bauman is a must.
We finished our first day of stay with a taxi ride around Kazan at night.
We started our second day in Kazan with a visit to the Chak-Chak Museum.
A very intimate museum. Pre-entry. The maximum group is 15 people. An hour of the tour is dedicated to the history and history of the chak-chak as well. They will show you different old dishes and utensils that you can hold in your hands. Then they will be taken to the second room, where a tea party with traditional Tatar sweets is held. A very soulful excursion.
We devoted the second part of the second day to acquaintance with Tatar cuisine.
Tatar cuisine is replete with dough – noodle soup, echpochmak, kystyby, chak-chak, various closed pies.
An economical option for getting to know Tatar cuisine.
On the pedestrian street Bauman there is a very popular place with democratic prices – the House of Tea (Bauman street, 64). Interiors – a dining room from the times of the USSR, dishes from the same times, but the food here is delicious. Noodle soup, echpochmak, chak-chak. Have a quick and inexpensive snack to continue your walk around Kazan.
VIP option for getting to know Tatar cuisine.
To sit in a cozy atmosphere with a view of Lake Nizhniy Kaban, we went to the hotel and restaurant complex Tatarskaya Usadba (Mardzhani st., 8). Here we tried chicken noodle soup, aka Tokmach with chicken noodles, kystyby and Tatar desserts.
Kystyby is a thin unleavened flat cake with fillings, potatoes, herbs or millet porridge.
We did not dare to try kystyby with porridge, but we liked kystyby with potatoes and herbs.
For dessert we ordered – gubadia with a court, talkysh kaleve, Chai-Balish pie and chak-chak.
Gubadia is a closed multi-layer cake. It can be sweet or with meat. Kort is a red cottage cheese, it is used in Tatar cuisine, in Yekaterinburg I have never met such cottage cheese. In addition to cottage cheese, the filling of gubadia included rice, boiled eggs and raisins. A very unusual combination, but very tasty!
Talkysh kaleve is a Tatar national sweet. Similar to cotton candy, but made from natural honey. Talish kaleve are small dense pyramids made of a homogeneous mass of honey and ghee. Very sweet, they just melt in your mouth.>
Pie Tea Balish is also a closed pie, like a gubadia, a pie. Rice, dried apricots, prunes are used as a filling for it.
That’s how delicious our second day ended.
Our train (140 N, Adler-Novosibirsk) departed from Kazan at 15.45 and we decided to spend half of the day on a trip to Sviyazhsk.
The island city of Sviyazhsk is located 60 km from Kazan, we got there and back by the hotel car.
Sviyazhsk was founded in 1551. Known for the fact that during the Civil War (1918) Leon Trotsky stopped the retreat of the Red Army by decimation – by shooting every tenth Red Army soldier. Later, Sviyazhsk became a subdivision of the GULAG.
In 2008, an asphalt road reached Sviyazhsk and now an excursion to Sviyazhsk is very popular. In Sviyazhsk you will see monasteries and churches, as well as the ethnographic complex Konnyi Dvor, which includes craft workshops, souvenir shops, a stable, a restaurant and a guest house.
So our trip to Kazan ended. A beautiful city with its own recognizable face. It is imperative to come in the summer to ride a parachute along the waterways of the city.
The official date of the foundation of Kazan is considered to be 1005. The basis for this date was a coin from the era of the reign of St. Wenceslas, which was found during excavations in the Kazan Kremlin. In 2005 Kazan celebrated its 1000th anniversary on a grand scale.
Famous people of Kazan.
The famous Tatar writer and poet Musa Jalil was executed in Berlin for participating in underground work against the Nazis. The monument to Musa Jalil is located in front of the main entrance to the Kazan Kremlin, it was installed in 1966.
As a graduate of the Faculty of Chemistry of USU (now UrFU), I don’t need to explain who Butlerov is and what Butlerov’s reaction is. I did not immerse myself in studying the biography of this great chemist and, having visited Kazan, I learned that Butlerov graduated from Kazan University and even twice visited its rector. One of the streets is named after him.
Another name already known to a wider audience is Fyodor Chaliapin. A singer with a unique and recognizable voice – high-pitched bass-baritone. He, unlike Butlerov, was born in Kazan and glorified not only Kazan, but also became one of the most remarkable people in Russia.
The writer Vasily Aksenov was also born in Kazan. Maxim Gorky worked in bakeries in Kazan.