Temples

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In 1726 a cathedral bearing the name of the Apostles Peter and Paul was built on the spot where one made of wood had been constructed in the middle of the 16th century. People nicknamed the cathedral the Hanging Gardens of Kazan because of the large amount of stone-like plasterwork adorning its walls. This outstanding example of Baroque architecture was made thanks to merchant Ivan Mikhlyayev, whose house (now Kazan's oldest civil building) is located nearby.

Parishioners financed the repair of the cathedral several times following a number of fires. The cathedral was in a seriously dilapidated condition when it was renovated between 1888 and 1890. Plasterwork was repaired and the foundation was raised. Its present-day appearance is what has been preserved since then.

After the 1917 Revolution the cathedral became the center of the Orthodox community and relics and church items from different closed churches were collected here. In 1938 it was decided to turn the cathedral into an anti-religion museum and lecture hall. However, instead of this, the party archives were housed here. It later was used as a planetarium and also as restoration workshops. It was only in 1989 that liturgical services began again.
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Distinct from other mosques, the Thousandth Anniversary of Islam Mosque was built in the Russian part of Kazan on the Kaban Lake. It was here that the Kulmametovskaya Mosque, the first wooden mosque in Kazan was located.

The mosque was designed in 1912 by architect Нуvgeny Pechnikov. As the mosque was built in commemoration of a thousand years of Islam in the Middle Volga region, it was fashioned with a symbolic meaning. The three-level minaret represents the pre-Islamic, medieval, and new periods of the region's history.


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The Soltan Mosque was built in 1868 according to the plan of architect Pyotr Romanov, who also designed the Apanaevskaya Mosque. The projection of the minaret was inspired by Bolgar architects. The same can be seen in the Nurulla Mosque. The architect took a lot from the Romanesque style and gave it a national Tatar flavor. The mosque is small. It has one hall with large, arched windows and a round minaret.

Soltan (Usmanov) Mosque was named in honour of the first guild merchant who donated money for its construction. Ziganshi Usmanov was a fur trader and owner of tenement houses and a factory that made soap and textiles. The mosque is also known as Ziganshi baya, The Eighth Mosque, and Soltan Mosque in honour of its 19th century custodian, Usmanov's son Sultan Abdulgaziz. In the mosque there was a progressive madrasa called Usmaniya.

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Some of the aliases of this two-storey mosque with a round minaret are the Seventh Cathedral or the Sennaya Mosque. It was erected in the middle of the hay market (hence the name "Sennaya"), the Tatar social hive.

The Sennaya Mosque was built in 1849 for a very mundane purpose, as a place where market traders could pray without long interruptions in their work. The construction was sponsored by the Yunusov merchant family (hence the mosque's other alias: Yunusov's). Finnish architect Alexander Loman designed it, and Alexander Peske, an architect on the Kazan Governorate Construction Commission, managed the construction.

The mosque was shut down in 1929, and the minaret was taken apart. Regular people would live and work in the building until 1992. In 1981 the building was awarded architectural landmark status. The mosque was returned to the Moslem community in 1992, and received its current name: Nurulla. The mosque and the minaret were reconstructed by 1995 to the design of Rafik Bilyalov. The mosque's imam-khatib Gabdulla Galiullin was Tatarstan's first mufti.

Architecturally the mosque is eclectic, while its minaret replicates the shape of the Grand Minaret in ancient Bolgar. The interior decoration keynote in the Nurulla Mosque is the tulip ornament as a symbol of rejuvenation and rebirth.
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The Old Believers District of Kazan was created when, according to local legend, soldiers who participated in the revolt against the young Peter the Great were exiled to the province in the 17th century. They settled in the Sukonnaya and Kirpichnaya neighbourhoods. Today this is where Ulitsa Peterburgskaya (Peterburgskaya Street) and Ulitsa Ostrovskogo (Ostrovskogo Street)can be found.

During the reign of Catherine the Great, Old Believers got the opportunity to open chapels. In the middle of the 18th century the Kazan-Vyatka Diocese was established. In 1906 the Old Believers were given permission to build temples. In September 1909 the Pokrovsky Cathedral (Ulitsa Ulyanova-Lenina, 11) was consecrated, and in 1912 the Church of Our Lady of Kazan was opened. The church belonged to the Kazan Society of Old Believers and was constructed with funds made available by their leader, merchant Ivan Grebenschikov. The church was a single-domed cathedral without a bell tower. It combined a pseudo-Russian style and multi-styled ornamental brick masonry. It was closed in 1920 and the Rembytmashpribor factory was moved inside.

In 1989, the temple, which had by then been passed to the community of the Russian Old-Orthodox Church, was consecrated once again. In 1996 the Pokrovsky Cathedral was returned as well. It is currently being restored and that is why the Kazan-Vyatka Diocese holds liturgical services in the chapel on Ulitsa Ostrovskogo.

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Up until the beginning of the 20th century, the main purpose of the majority of travelers who came to Kazan was to make pilgrimage to the miraculous Our Lady of Kazan.

Legend has it that the relic was discovered by 9-year-old Matryona, the daughter of city soldier Daniil Onuchina. In the beginning of July 1579, a week after a fire that destroyed half of Kazan, the girl saw the Mother of God in her sleep. The Holy Mother showed Matryona where to search for the icon on the site of a house that had burned down. The icon was found buried in the ground there on July 8, 1579. Future Patriarch Hermogenes of Moscow took part in the appropriation of the icon. The monastery was founded by decree of Ivan the Terrible and kept the sacred icon. Later, Matryona and her mother took the veil here.

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Riding the train into Kazan, passengers can see a collection of domes topped with crosses, crescents, and curious symbols. The Temple of All Religions is the primary occupation of artist Ildar Khanov. He has also called it the Universal Temple. According to the artist it is not supposed to be a place where people from different religions pray together. "People have yet to come to Monotheism," said the artist. Khanov tried to create "an architectural symbol of unified souls spiritually coming closer to the Creator."

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The Catholics that came to Kazan in the 18th century were Germans and people from the Baltic states, primarily officials and artisans. The Catholic parish was founded in 1835, by which time the Catholic community had grown as a result of the Kingdom of Poland becoming part of Russia. Masses were held in converted buildings such a former theater and tenement houses.

Construction on the church began in 1855. It was designed by Alexander Peske, a Lutheran and architect with the Kazan building and road commission. The modest building was consecrated on 1 November 1858 in honour of the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. At the time it was located on the outskirts of the city on the corner of Lyadskaya Ulitsa (Lyadskaya Street) and Arsk Field.

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The Jewish community was official established in Kazan on March 24, 1987. It was founded by the families of former military cantonists who remained in the province after being discharged. The same year Jews were allowed to build a prayer house. The synagogue opened on March 12, 1915. It was shut down in 1926 and the Education Workers House was moved here.

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Germans have been living in Kazan since the 16th century when they were captured during the Livonian War and resettled throughout the Russian empire. The most famous of them was Karl Fuchs, the rector of Kazan Imperial University.

Lutherans began construction of their church in Kazan in 1767, the year that Empress Catherine the Great visited the city. It was blessed and opened on Saint Catherine's Day, December 7, 1771. Three years later the church burned down. It was restored as a stone church in 1777.

The Kazan Evangelical Lutheran parish officially came to be in 1806. Between 1862 to 1865 on Ulitsa Pokrovskaya (a street now named after Karl Marx) a new church was built to accommodate all of the Lutherans in the city. The brick church project with 250 seats built in the Romanesque style with Gothic elements was the creation of city architect assistant Lev Khrschonovich. It was blessed and opened its doors on December 1, 1863.

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