Parks

This is a real Soviet park, straight from the black-and-white films with a central avenue, the monument to Vladimir Lenin, busts of scientists Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, Dmitri Mendeleyev, Mikhail Lomonosov and Soviet pilot Valery Chkalov and pre-revolutionary pilot-ace Peter Nesterov, figures of mountain climber, kolkhoz woman, a teacher and a pilot.

The Krylia Sovetov Park (Wings of the Soviets Park) was built in 1939 for residents of the new Sotsgorod, constructed by the Kazmashstroy aviation plant. Then there was a shooting gallery there, rides, a hockey rink, and near the Rubin football club school there stood a parachute tower about 40 metres (131 feet) high. The locals played park football, skated, wrestled.

In 2015, during the reconstruction the elements of the Stalinist Empire style were preserved, recreation spots for athletic activities and playgrounds were created, as well as biking and jogging paths. The fountain lights in the main alley were restored. Future plans include a café, a summer stage and terrace area for dancing and an open-air cinema.

The small park on Prospekt Yamasheva (Yamasheva Avenue) appeared in the 1980s, but only in 2015, it acquired its current shape and name. Now is the most interesting children's park in Kazan. The aerial view of the park shows that it is shaped like two hemispheres with continents. The North America is where large celebrations are held; a flower garden is arranged in South America. Eurasia has the large playground – point of interest the layout of Tatarstan with a mini-replica of the Kazan Kremlin.

Africa has a big sandbox, where children dig up dinosaur bones. A little farther away is an outdoor workout facility, ramps for skaters and skateboarders. Near the road, there is an area for dog-walking. A family-style café is in the works. Artificial hills protect the park from the dust and noise of the avenue.

Egor Aleev/TASS

The 18th century park is named after the man who founded it – Mayor General Alexey Letsky. His one-storey mansion was located nearby. Emperor Paul I of Russia stayed nearby. Impressed by the owner's hospitality, Paul I ordered to call the adjacent street after Letsky after his passing (it has since been renamed into Ulitsa Gorkogo (Gorkogo Street)). He also ordered to give 200,000 rubles to the city to beautify the area. That is how Gostiny Dvor and the Public Theatre came to be.

Egor Aleev/TASS

This place, now the main park of Kazan, has a rich history. Almost three centuries ago this was where those sent for hard labour departed from via the Siberian tract. And yet in the second half of the 18th century country houses were scattered all over the area. In early 19th century there was a population of German academics here.

The park began to shape into what it looks like after the revolution.

A new life was breathed into the park in 2014-2015. Following a large-scale renovation project, the park was enriched with bike lanes and ski tracks, areas to play chess, soccer and work out. There are restaurants and a fountain that provides a light and sound show.

In the middle of the 17th century, this was a remote place, where Metropolitan Adrian instructed to build a temple in honour of the nine martyrs of Cyzicus. That is how in 1691 the Kizichesky (Svyato-Vvedensky) Monastery came to be. Many famous people in the city were buried here, both spiritual and secular, like Leo Tolstoy's grandfather. The 1917 Revolution and the events that followed, kept in place only the Saint Prince Vladimir church, and suburbs began to appear around the area. According to local historian George Mueller, the necropolis was demolished in 1929, by the Komsomol leaders and the remains cleaned by ahead of the arrival of the Soviet state leader Nikita Khrushchev in 1964.

The Victory Park is an area of about 50 hectares, and it appeared in 1970 when 1418 trees and shrubs were planted there, in honoгr of the 1,418 days and nights of the Great Patriotic War. The basis of the park is a memorial complex built in 1995, as well as a 42-meter (138-foot) tall Victory Stele. Upon passing all that, you find yourself at an open-air military equipment exhibition, with tanks, anti-tank guns, howitzers, planes, helicopters. To the left of the memorial, there is a green area with alleys, children's playground and a pond with carp and ducks.

The park began its life in 1829, when development began on the lake's shores various shrubs, trees and flowers, as well as lawns and embankments.

There was an orchestra working at the park. Another attraction was a restaurant with billiards, bowling and shooting alley, and a photography pavilion.

The lake started to smell in 1889 and it was filled in, leaving only a small pond.

Egor Aleev/TASS

The pocket park behind the Mir (Peace) Movie Theatre (top spot for intellectual cinema festivals) has been bearing the name of Russian writer Vasily Aksenov since 2015. The author of Star Ticket was born in Kazan, his father was the chairman of the Kazan City Council and a member of the Bureau of the Tatar Regional Committee of the Communist Party. The building on Ulitsa Karla Marksa, 55/31 (Karla Marksa Street, 55/31), where the writer spent his childhood and youth is now Aksenov's working house museum. The plan is that there will be literary evenings held in the garden, the first signs of which were the performances of the Aksenov Fest.

The garden is decorated with a self-portrait-caricature of the writer with his personal signature. Viewers sit inside the mini-amphitheater. The backdrop of the stage is a wall of the Mir Movie Theatre.

Most of the park is dense and overgrown, but the alley is worth a look. It was created during the Soviet times, when the bride and groom on their wedding day would plant trees and shrubs. That шs how the park appeared (hence the name – Park of Newlyweds). Now this tradition has been revived, so do not be surprised to see a groom with a shovel, and a bride with a seedling.

Back in the 17th century this place was state-owned. The agency responsible for such properties began giving away land for estates. This is how modern Kazan streets were created. They were called Udelnye streets, in the name of the agency which ruled over them.

In the 20th century the territory was developed for residential purposes. Kazan was a boom down and industry was growing rapidly.

One of the main attractions is the duck pond. Currently the area has a jogging lane, a scenic square is expected to be created here shortly.

Egor Aleev / TASS

The Millennium Park was opened in honour of the Kazan jubilee in 2005. Earlier this place was Degtyarnaya Ulitsa (Degtyarnaya Street) with dilapidated houses. The park is surrounded by a metal fence, its gates are decorated with the city's symbols – Zilant dragons. In the centre, there is a fountain made out of a huge cauldron, supported by Zilant figures. It is an illustration of one of the legends of how Kazan came to be, according to which it was founded, where a cauldron of water boiled on its own. Wedding processions like to come to the fountain, the bride and the groom throw in a coin and make a wish.

Actually, there are four lakes here – Bolshoye (Big), Maloye (Small), Svetloye (Light), Sukhoye (Dry) and they are connected by channels. In recent years, due to changes in the surrounding landscape, the areas of the lakes have decreased. Svetloye and Sukhoye Lakes have virtually disappeared. Nevertheless, the Maloye Lebyazhye Lake remains a favourite recreation spot for due to its proximity to the city – there is public transportation to get there, and the beauty of the spot – the lakes are surrounded by tall pines. The reservoirs are shallow – up to four metres (13 feet) each. There is grilling on the banks of the lakes, during the summer the national Tatar holiday Sabantuy is widely celebrated, in the winter there is skiing and sledding. In the works, there is a plan for a large-scale renovation (in fact – salvation) of the Lebyazhye lake, although a pump has been in operation since 2008, filling the Maloye Lebyazhye Lake with water from an artesian well.

If you are looking for a calm walk in a green area, look no further. The Nikolay Yershov pocket park is the perfect getaway from the city hustle and bustle. Gorky Park is located nearby, providing more options for family recreation.

This cozy pocket park located in the Admiralteysky District has been renamed time and time again. It has been known as the Tivoli Garden, Fisherman Garden, Kirov Garden. Currently 15 unique types of trees can be found here.
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