Annunciation Cathedral

Yegor Aleyev/TASS
The oldest stone building in the Tatar capital was erected in 1562 under the supervision of Ivan Shiryai and Postnik Yakovlev, the architect of Moscow's Saint Basil's Cathedral.

The bud-shaped central dome was added in 1736. The church took its current shape in 1841. The belfry was demolished in 1928. The authorities planned to pull the church down altogether a year later, but changed their mind, converting it first to vegetable storehouse, then to the government archive of Tatarstan. It took ten years, in the late 1970s to early 1980s, to restore the Annunciation Cathedral. The archive moved out in 1997. Patriarch Alexius II personally ministered at the first liturgy here in 2005, the 450th year of the Kazan Eparchy of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Attached to the church is its History Museum, filled with old books, icons and photographs of the Orthodox landmarks of pre-1917 Kazan, a replica of Catherin II's coach, and the walking cane of Gurius, the first Archbishop of Kazan and Sviyazhsk.