Islamic Culture Museum

Egor Aleev/TASS

For many centuries, Islamic culture has been enriching the religious variety and wealth of the Russian state. In Kazan, where several religions have been co-existing over hundreds of years, this is perhaps more strikingly evident than anywhere else. In the Kazan Kremlin, for example, side by side stand the Annunciation Cathedral and the Kul Sharif Mosque. The latter is not only the Republic's main mosque – on its ground floor, since February of 2006, it has housed a museum where you can learn in detail about how Islam developed among the Turkic-Tartar peoples of the Volga and Ural regions, from the declaration of Islam as the state religion of the Bulgar Khanate in 922 right up to the modern era.

A central place in the exhibition is taken by the interactive "self-flipping" Quran which allows visitors to really get to know this sacred artifact. You can also see copies of manuscripts and modern publications of the Quran, and view a three-dimensional installation titled "The Kazan Kremlin in the 15th-21th Centuries." Visitors are told about the five pillars of Islam, shown what the interior of the study of the Tartar enlightener Shigabutdin Marjani looked like, and introduced to Tartar women's struggle for rights.