Coach of Catherine II

Ilnar Tukhbatov/ТАSS
In 1767 the young Empress embarked on a journey down the Volga River on magnifical galley named Tver, which was 39 metres (128 feet) long and had six cabins. That galley would remain on display for decades at the Kazan Admiralty, then was moved to a wooden hangar, where it stayed from 1830 to 1888. The galley was destroyed by fire in 1956.

Catherine II arrived in Kazan on May 26, 1767. She stayed for five days, riding around the town, visiting churches and attending the festival staged in her honour. So impressed was Catherine by the local hospitality that she issued a decree permitting the construction of mosques in stone all over Russia. Mosques have since been built in stone in Kazan.

Upon Catherine's departure, the coach the Empress rode in Kazan became property of the Kazan City Duma, and later passed on to what would eventually become the National Museum of the Republic of Tatarstan. It is still on display there, this 2.8-metre (9-foot) tall two-seat equipage, adorned with the images of Zeus, Neptune and Venus. But most tourists take photographs with its bronze copy, which stands near the Kazan Academic Russian Bolshoi Drama Theater of V. I. Kachalov.