Observation Decks

Yegor Aleev/ТАSS

Three thousand years ago, here was a settlement of ancient people, who, most likely were Finno-Ugric tribes. A thousand years ago, this area was already the northeastern outskirts of the city of Kazan, which appeared shortly earlier. In 1600, on the hill was founded a monastery in the name of Theodore Stratelates, and it became known as the Fyodor Hill. In 1900, the monastery became female, and after the Revolution it was closed. A market developed in that place.

In the 1980s, the Lenin memorial complex appeared on the shore. In 1992 already it was changed into the Kazan National Cultural Centre. Tourists visit here the Museum of Kazan Millennium Anniversary and see the scenic views of the water area, the Kremlin, the Kazan Family Centre and the embankment.

Yegor Aleyev/TASS

Scenic views of new Kazan open up behind the Kazan eparchy's cathedral, which was built after Ivan the Terrible conquered Kazan (architect Postnik Yakovlev, author of the Saint Basil's Cathedral in Moscow). Those are images of the Kazanka River, which looks magnificently after the Kuybyshev water reservoir was made, the so-called Kvartal – the Novo-Savinsky district, and the building of agricultural ministry, also called Palace of Agriculturists. If you get up the Transfiguration Tower, you may see far ahead the Monument to Fallen Soldiers, the Kyrlai Park, Ploschad Tysyacheletiya (Tysyacheletiya Square) and the Kremlin's panorama.

Yegor Aleyev/TASS

The helipad is on the 16th floor of the Grand Hotel Kazan in the centre of the city. The view from here is on Ulitsa Bauman (Bauman Street), the Opera Theatre, the Kazan Circus, the Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral, the Kaban Lake, the Tatar State Academic Theatre named after Galiasgar Kamal, the Kazan Millennium Park, the Old-Tatar Sloboda (Neighbourhood), the Kul Sharif Mosque, and the Kazan Kremlin.

The central part of the city has mostly low-rise houses, thus the view may be very good. Before visiting, inquire if the helipad is open: no tours are allowed in rain or strong wind.

Yegor Aleyev/TASS
Some tourists come to Kazan with the purpose of seeing the Kazan Riviera – to spend time at the aqua park and to visit the entertainment centre with various restaurants, a cinema, bowling, and bars. The visitors are invited to get to the hotel's viewing point on the 25th floor, where from the height of a hundred metres they may take pictures of the historic central part, including the Kremlin. At the same time, a wonderful view also opens from the hotel's shore. Interestingly, this view is accessible even for those who remain inside the hotel pool.

A new architectural dominant of Tatarstan's capital city – the Marriage Registration Hall – appeared in the summer of 2013. Artist and sculptor Dashi Namdakov designed the building in the form of a wok (kazan), and the locals immediately nicknamed it "cup." The first marriage was registered here on July 5, 2013.

The Centre's three halls – Golden, Silver and Oriental (the design combines Oriental and Classical styles) – may be venues for more than 100 marriage ceremonies a day. Kazan Family Centre's upper part is the viewing point at the height of 32 metres (105 feet).
Yegor Aleyev/TASS

The best place for taking pictures of the Kaban Lake and the Old Tatar Sloboda (Neighbourhood) with its mosques and little houses is by the Tatar State Academic Theatre Named After Galiaskar Kamal. At obe time there were wooden houses and a power station for trams. A part of today's square was taken by the Tatar Bridge across the Bulak River – under it boats went to the Kaban Lake and back. Now, there is a street, called after director Marsel Salimzhanov, who worked in the theatre for several decades.

Construction of a new theatre began here according to the plan of 1969, and was over at the time the Kaban Lake was cleared from industrial waste. The square was covered with cement plates: architects said the square was to go on across the street proceeding to the underpass. Now this area is taken by the main building of the Tatar Humanitarian Pedagogical University.

By the city's millennium anniversary in 2005, here appeared music fountains, greenery, and benches. Children like a lot the statue of Shurale and Byltyr – heroes of Gadulla Tukay's fairy tale. A high fountain comes from the lake, and boats and catamarans are crossing the water surface. The area by the theatre is a place for big concerts and mass rallies – both political and cultural.