Historical landmarks

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The monument to Musa Dzhalil on the square near the Kremlin's Spasskaya Tower was unveiled on November 3, 1966. Authors of the 8-meter (26-feet) statue are sculptor Vladimir Tsigal and architect Lev Golubovsky.

The Tatar poet Musa Dzhalil was born in 1906. As World War II began, he went to the front, where in 1942 he got badly wounded in the chest, was captured, and joined the Idel-Ural Legion (a Wehrmacht division, which united the Tatars, Bashkirs, Chuvash, Mordovians, Mari, and Udmurt) and organized there an underground group together with a secret service agent Gainan Kurmashev and other military. As he spoke in German camps, he linked separate groups of anti-fascists, recruited new members, organized prisoner escapes. In August 1943, Dzhalil and ten members of his group were arrested, and on August 25, 1944, they were executed at the Plötzensee Prison in Berlin. At the same time, in the USSR, the poet was considered a traitor and the enemy’s accomplice. His posthumous fate changed as former prisoners and members of the resistance gave his verses from Moabites to the Soviet Writers Union. Dzhalil's poems were published for the first time in the Novy Mir magazine in 1953 – from that time begins the process of his public rehabilitation: in 1956, he was posthumously awarded the title of the Soviet Union's Hero, and in 1957 he won the Lenin Prize.

50 years after the execution, was unveiled a bass-relief with names of the group's other members – Gainan Kurmashev, Abdulla Alish, Fuat Seifulmulyukov, Fuat Bulatov, Garif Shabayev, Ahmet Simayev, Abdulla Battalov, Zinnat Khasanov, Akhat Atnashev, and Salim Bukharov.
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Here is also a Monument to Philanthropist – an elderly man leading a horse harnessed to a cart, in which children are sitting. The sculpture by Asiya Minnullina and Andrey Balashov captued Asgat Galimzyanov – one of the most famousr and respected persons in Tatarstan. He was born in 1936, after service in the armed forces he worked in the police, and then became a driver at the Kazan farm market. As he was selling fattened cattle, he spent all the received money to help orphanages in Tatarstan, Chuvashia and Bashkortostan and clients in nursing homes. He helped people after the earthquake in Armenia's Spitak, and those who suffered from the Chernobyl disaster. In 2010, he gave his apartment in the centre of Kazan to migrants from Kazakhstan and returned to live in the uncomfortable wooden house near the Kazan market place. Back in the Soviet times, Asgat Galimzyanov was awarded the Order of Red Banner of Labor, and in 2007 he won the Saint Andrew prize "For Faith and Loyalty."
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It is one of the biggest squares in Russia (about 90,000 square metres (968,751 square feet)). The square was built in 1999-2002 after outdated houses were removed from the area. To 2005, it was called the Fair Square (Tashayak in Tatar – repeating the name of the old street, which used to be there), and in the year of Kazan's millennium, it was renamed to be the Millennium Square. From time to time it hosts car races, concerts, New Year celebrations and other holidays, and then the square gets a stage, spectator stands and thousands of participants. At other times, the square is perfect for photography: the Kremlin, the circus, the Pyramid cultural and entertainment center, Bulak, beginning of Kremlyovskaya Naberezhnaya (Kremlyovskaya Embankment) – great views of all sightseeing attractions in Kazan.
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This was the name of the mosque that once stood inside the walls of Khan's Kremlin. According to historical records, it was a majestic building, and it boasted a large library. Some historians maintain that the mosque was named Kul Sharif in honour of a mid-16th-century Kazan Imam who was a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad. The mosque was destroyed by the fire that engulfed the city when it was besieged and captured by the troops of Ivan the Terrible in 1552.

The construction commenced on a new mosque in 1997 and was completed in 2005. The podium on which the mosque rests (as many as 10,000 people can fit in there at the same time) is a great place for a panoramic photo shoot.

The monumental building – a reflection of the local architect's modern interpretation of Tatar architectural tradition – is large enough to accommodate 1,500 people. It is just as impressive inside with its stained glass panels, mosaic ornaments, gold-plated artwork, mouldings, the giant Bohemian glass chandelier and Persian carpets. In addition to the prayer room, there is an Islamic Culture Museum inside, which looks back on the conversion of the Volga Tatars to Islam, and the fortunes of Islam in the region over a time-span of more than a thousand years. There are numerous editions of the Quran on display, including an interactive "self-flipping" Quran.
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The 58-meter (190-foot) seven-storied patrol tower of the Kazan Kremlin is leaning like the tower in Pisa: it deviates from the vertical by 1.98 metre (6 feet). There have been great discussions of how it was built. The current version is that it happened in the XVII century, although history experts still continue arguing. It is a well-known fact that in its place used to be the Khan's tower (and this is confirmed by the excavations), a mosque and a tomb. In the XIX century, local historians began to call it in honor of Queen Suyumbike, a daughter of Nogai Murza Yunus, the ruler of the Khanate of Kazan in 1549-1551, the wife of three Khans – Dzhan-Ali, Safa Girey and Shah Ali. Legends related to her are still alive. One of them says Suyumbike was the one who built the tower – in memory of Safa-Girey. Another legend says the tower was built by Ivan the Terrible, in line with a request from Suyumbike, who later on jumped off the tower. What is certainly true – is that the tower is a symbol of Kazan, like the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the Tower in London.
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