Museums

Similar museums had proved a success in Moscow and Saint Petersburg before the idea to exhibit video game machines from a not-so-distant past reached Kazan. You can play Sniper, Table Basketball, or have a glass of soda from an authentic classic soda fountain here. Unlike its Moscow and Saint Petersburg counterparts, the Kazan museum hosts all kinds of retro events: fairs, slide film shows, and master classes in handcrafts.

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Prepare to take a lot of photos in the Illusions Museum. People come here to have their 3D photos taken balancing on a rope high above the city, aboard the Titanic, or sitting on the iron throne from the Game of Thrones. As an exciting segue to your photo shoot with optical illusions, visit the Giant's House with humongous furniture and tableware. You can get inside a teacup or walk into the oven.

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Opened in August 2005, this museum covers astronomy, mineralogy, the genesis of the Earth, paleontology, history, and evolution of the vertebrates, including dinosaurs – naturally with lots of exhibits, images and large dinosaur replicas. The museum is the home of Piligrim natural science club. The little visitors love the enhanced-reality Ice Age installation, where you get to see yourself standing next to a living 3D baby mammoth, king rabbit and sabre-toothed tiger.

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The Planetarium is located on the grounds of the University Astronomical Observatory outside the city. It opened in June 2013.  

The observatory itself dates back to 1901. It bears the name of astronomy doctor Vasily Engelgardt, who donated all his astronomical equipment and a hefty sum of money to the university. They have been observing the stars for over a century here, without interrupting their observations even during the Great Patriotic War.

The Planetarium has much to offer: educational scientific programmes, popular science films and a study of stars and constellations with the aid of an optical mechanical projector. Visitors are also welcome to gaze at the stars through the world's largest refracting telescope, which is over 100 years old, or sign up for an interactive tour, which takes in such curios as the high-frequency Tesla coil, a mini replica of the Earth, and a company of dancing robots.

The Planetarium is growing and expanding. It is soon to get an interactive learning system and an astropark with a multitude of edifying amusements, including the use of a Foucault Pendulum to obtain proof that the Earth goes round, or a ride that makes you feel like you are on the surface of the Moon.