Baumana Street

Ulitsa Baumana (Baumana Street) seems to have everything a visitor can wish for in a foreign town. Temples, shops, restaurants, cafés, monuments, banks, museums, theatres… They are all here. Trolleys ran on Ulitsa Baumana until 1986, when the street was made pedestrian. Now locals and visitors mill about on Ulitsa Baumana day and night.

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The mall, located on the city's principal square, offers a wide selection of brands for customers with any budget, no matter how small or big. The 23,000 square metres (247,570 square feet) of space not only house 120 stores, but a cinema with six screening halls and a billiard room.
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This is a popular dating spot. The bronze clock was mounted in 1999. The top sculpture depicts a poet, Pegasus and the Muse. The numbers on the dial are in Arabic script, while the hands are styled to resemble the sun and the crescent.
The merchant by the name of Ivan Ososov, then mayor of Kazan, had this house built in the early 19th century. Johann Brenning, who hailed from the community of German settlers on the Volga, bought it 1872 and opened a pharmacy here. He let other tenants in who opened their shops next door: one sold felt boots and leather shoes, another – fruit, and there were also a barber shop, a patisserie and a tailor's workshop in the building. The pharmacy became property of the state after the 1917 Revolution, but the locals kept calling it "Brenning Pharmacy" by force of habit. It is a pharmacy to this day, and has been part of the pharmaceutical group Tatkhimfarmpreparaty since 1999.
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The local merchant woman by the name of Anna Smolentseva had the house of the merchant Zigansha Usmanov (the mosque at the intersection of Ulitsa Parizhskoy Kommuny (Parizhskoy Kommuny Street) and Ulitsa Tukaya (Tukaya Street) is named in his honour) remodelled in 1899 to make it suitable for commercial mixed use. She put a hotel in there, naming it Northern Suites, as well as some shops, including the tea shop that belonged to her son-in-law, the writer Nikolay Shmelyov. Another house rose up ten years later, which adjoined Smolentseva's house, and eventually the two buildings were merged into one hotel, Northern Suites. The hotel was renamed "Sovet" after the 1917 Revolution. The current building is a new structure with the historical facade, built after 2005.
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The wooden Church of the Epiphany of Our Lord was erected in place of the Prolomnye Gate as early as the 17th century. It was replaced by a stone cathedral, built together with a tent-roofed bell tower, in 1731-1756 with the funds donated by the local merchants Ivan Mikhlyayev (according to some sources: Miklyayev) and Sergey Chernov. Only a part of the cathedral has reached us intact.

Originally, the cathedral was comprised of three churches. One, the Church of the Epiphany of Our Lord, had an annex consecrated after the Holy Archdeacon Stephan the Protomartyr. It was converted first to a warehouse, then a gym by Soviet authorities, but has since been returned to the parish. The Church of the Holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called with its Annex of the Holy Martyrs, the Virtuous Prince Michael of Chernigov and His Boyar Theodore, did not survive. Nearly 100 years ago it was demolished, and a menagerie was built in its stead. That was eventually demolished, too, and a five-storey apartment block was built in its place. The third church, consecrated singularly after the Third Recovery of the Authentic Head of Saint John the Baptist, has survived and is located on the second level of the new bell tower.

The most dominant building of the church complex is the bell tower, built in 1897 with the money donated by local merchant Ivan Krivonosov and money collected from other parishioners. It took two million bricks to build it. This bell tower is one of the dominant features of the Kazan skyline, overshadowing the church it is attached to. Before the 1917 Revolution, some rooms on the ground floor were reserved for edifying talks with Old Rite Orthodox Christians. There also was a church shop on the ground floor. Visitors are admitted to the top of the bell tower, which offers a good view of downtown Kazan from an altitude corresponding, approximately, to the 12th floor of a regular building.

The Epiphany Cathedral was returned to the Russian Orthodox Church in 1996-1997. The icons and iconostasis inside are all new. All the walls are white, which is why this temple feels light and solemn inside.
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This bronze statue was installed in 1999 in front of the bell tower where the great Russian opera singer was baptized. Kazan was the first place on earth to hear Chaliapin's bass: he was born and raised to the age of 17 here. Chaliapin's opera debut was also in Kazan: he sang the part of Zaretsky in the Eugene Onegin opera, staged by the Kazan Society of the Lovers of Performing Arts. Chaliapin as a statue is not even 30 years old. The sculptors, Andrey Balashov and Asiya Minnullina, worked from Chaliapin's photos taken early in his career.

Chaliapin's father, a peasant from Vyatka, was 18 when he left his parental home and headed for Kazan in search of a better life. He worked as a janitor, water carter, apprentice at a candle factory, and assistant clerk in the volost office of the Kazan uyezd. There are many places associated with Feodor Chaliapin in Kazan. He was born in house number 10 on the street which is now Ulitsa Pushkina (Pushkina Street). He was baptized in the Epiphany Cathedral. He had lived in Ometyevo (now an inner city neighbourhood), at Ulitsa Nekrasova (Nekrasova Sreet), in the Old Tatar Neighbourhood... There are dozens of Chaliapin addresses in Kazan. The annual Chaliapin Opera Festival, which Kazan hosts, is one of the many ways in which the city pays homage to its great son.
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The National Bank moved here from its former offices at Chernoozerskaya (now Dzerzhinskogo (Dzerzhinskogo Street)) Ulitsa (Chernoozerskaya Street) in 1914. The house that had stood here before, built in the 1770s, had changed hands several times. It had belonged, successively, to the family of the rector of the University of Kazan, the great mathematician Nikolai Lobachevsky, and the heirs of the local merchant Yevgeny Smolentsev, from whom the National Bank ended up buying it in 1908.

The new building took six years to construct. The facade familiar to every local was the idea of the architect Nikolai Sapunov. But complications arose when it came to the design of the building. The job was initially given to Fyodor Usvechev, an architect with the construction department of the governorate authority, but Usvechev did not do so well, so the project was taken over by Vasily Trifonov, an architect of the Kazan gunpowder factory, who had to fix his predecessor's mistakes.

However, the resultant building proved ideally suited to all the financiers' needs. The bank is still there, and the building has not seen any significant alteration in 100 years.
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This Kazan restaurant has existed since 1969. It was remodelled in the 2000s, but that did not affect its culinary specialism. The best specimens of Tatar cuisine are prepared here with love and respect for tradition. Dom Tatarskoy Kulinarii, located on a pedestrian street in the city centre, must not be missed! As you walk in, remember one thing: you will probably want to try everything, but DTK is not cheap.

The following specialties come highly recommended by steady patrons: kalzha meatloaf, horse sausage, meat and noodle soup, and manty (go for the ones with mutton). And do not forget to order some traditional Tatar baked products: echpochmaki or chak-chak. The Tatar Gourmet House is a large multiplex, where a family get-together can happen in one room while a reception for some foreign ambassador is in progress in another. Artists and musicians, who are available onsite, will grace any event with music and singing. There is also a Tatar Cookbook for sale on the premises, and a book on the restaurant's history.
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The Bolshoi Drama Theatre of V. I. Kachalov, one of the oldest theatre companies in Russia, gives centre-stage to musical comedies with lots of music and dancing, complemented by eccentric costumes and props. This is the signature style of the company's head director Alexander Slavutsky. Just as effervescent are the Theatre's children's shows, which draw large audiences. The company has the plays Golden Key, Little Red Riding Hood, Doctor Aybolit, and Ivan the Fool and the Demons on its children's playlist.
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In 1767 the young Empress embarked on a journey down the Volga River on magnifical galley named Tver, which was 39 metres (128 feet) long and had six cabins. That galley would remain on display for decades at the Kazan Admiralty, then was moved to a wooden hangar, where it stayed from 1830 to 1888. The galley was destroyed by fire in 1956.

Catherine II arrived in Kazan on May 26, 1767. She stayed for five days, riding around the town, visiting churches and attending the festival staged in her honour. So impressed was Catherine by the local hospitality that she issued a decree permitting the construction of mosques in stone all over Russia. Mosques have since been built in stone in Kazan.

Upon Catherine's departure, the coach the Empress rode in Kazan became property of the Kazan City Duma, and later passed on to what would eventually become the National Museum of the Republic of Tatarstan. It is still on display there, this 2.8-metre (9-foot) tall two-seat equipage, adorned with the images of Zeus, Neptune and Venus. But most tourists take photographs with its bronze copy, which stands near the Kazan Academic Russian Bolshoi Drama Theater of V. I. Kachalov.
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The cat is Kazan's totem animal. According to one of the many legends associated with the taking of Kazan by Ivan the Terrible, a cat had warned the Khan of an underground tunnel being dug underneath the fortress. While this legend beggars belief, it is an attested fact that Empress Elizabeth ordered 30 cats from Kazan to Saint Petersburg in 1745. Their job would be to hunt mice in the Winter Palace.

Cats were steady characters of Tatar lubok – folk kitsch – from the 17th century on. "Kazan cats with Astrakhan smarts and Siberian intelligence, sitting by the door, singing songs, spinning tall tales," goes the inscription under some of the Tatar folk cat motifs. One popular motif was "a cat's burial by the mice."

A stone cat statue was erected in 2009 on the bank of Raif Lake. Another, aluminium one stands at the intersection of Ulitsa Baumana (Baumana Street) and Ulitsa Musy Dzhalila (Musy Dzhalila Street). There is also a bronze cat sculpture outside the entrance of the National Museum of the Republic of Tatarstan at Ulitsa Kremlyovskaya (Kremlyovskaya Street), 2.
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This 1930s Constructivist landmark, replacing the former flour market, was built to accommodate the editorial offices of Tatarstan's key periodicals and the book publisher Tatgosizdat. The building was designed by Semyon Pen. The biggest bookshop in the Tatar Autonomous Soviet Social Republic was also housed in the Press House, along with the office of the Writers’ Union of Tatarstan. Rebuilt in 2012-2013, the Press House is now Nogai Hotel, which incorporates several restaurants and a multistorey parking garage. The Gabdulla Tukay Writers' Club has been reconstructed on the fifth floor, and is currently a conference room. Curiously, the construction workers found teeth and bones of some Ice Age mammals in the basement during the rebuilding.
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A private movie theatre opened here, in merchant Afanasiev's house, in 1902. They named it first Fantasia, then Greengri, then Union, and finally, Rodina in 1938. It is now a shopping and entertainment centre, which includes a multiplex cinema, some cafés and restaurants. The keynote programme of the annual Muslim Film Festival runs here in early autumn.
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The Cathedral of Saint Nicholas the Miracle-Worker was initially built in wood in 1565. On the cusp of the 17th or 18th centuries it was replaced by another church, the Lower Church of Saint Nicholas. A Church of the Holy Intercession was built next to it. A few years later, a five-level bell tower was added. Like the Suyumbike Tower, this bell tower has a tilt, but tourists rarely notice it; they more readily notice the glazed scaly ceramic finishing of the exterior walls, which was a fashionable decoration style in the 18th century.

The Cathedral took its present shape at the end of the 19th century, when both churches were renovated. The Lower Saint Nicholas Church was actually built anew.

The Intercession Church is inside the courtyard. It is dark inside amid the majestic painted pillars. Of note are the oil murals of Vasily Turin and the carved Golgotha Cross with the figure of Crucified Christ. The Saint Nicholas Annex is better lit on account of its bigger windows. Electricity supply was set up here as far back as 1901. This is the home of the miracle-working copy of the Icon of Our Lady of Kazan, copy of the Icon of Our Lady of Tikhvin, the miracle-working Theodore Icon of the Most Holy Virgin, and the miracle-working Kuyuk Icon of Saint Nicholas of Myra of Lycia.

Closed in 1930, the Cathedral of Saint Nicholas was revived by Archbishop Hermogenes. It was ordained a cathedral in 1946, and remains a cathedral to this day.
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This is one of Kazan's oldest monasteries, founded around 1567 by Herman the Bishop of Kazan as a metochion of the Sviyazhsk Monastery of the Assumption. Saint John's Monastery went independent in 1594. Following the fire of 1649 it was built back, this time in stone. The three-tent Monastery of Saint John the Baptist was fully renovated in 1894. Following the 1917 Revolution it housed the eparchial administration (as the Epiphany Cathedral was now a military restricted area inside the Kremlin). The building was blown up in the 1930s. Of the whole monastery there has remained the five-dome Church of the Presentation of the Holy Virgin, with its octagonal belfry. It was returned to the eparchy in 1992. The reliquary with a particle of the remains of Saint Herman is in this church.