Kazan Kremlin

The Kazan Kremlin is the symbol of the city, the heart of the republic, the residence of the president of Tatarstan and an architectural conservation area on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It was built in the 16th century on the fresh ruins of Tatar khan's fortress. To enter the museum, use the entrance at Spasskaya Tower.

You can start your tour from the Qol Sharif mosque, one of Europe's largest with an occupancy of 8,000 people. The largest of the fortress' five mosques was burned to the ground in 1552 by the army of Ivan the Terrible together with the shakhids who defended it and the imam in whose honour it was named. The mosque was built from scratch before the city's 1000th anniversary and the money for construction was raised through donations.

Tatarstan is considered a successor of Volga Bulgaria, the northernmost Muslim outpost in history: this territory accepted Islam as a state religion back in 922.

The Christian Orthodox Annunciation Cathedral is also nearby. This is the oldest stone temple in the Volga River region, built in the 16th century. Tatarstan is a unique republic where Christianity and Islam have co-existed for hundreds of years, seamlessly intertwining the cultures of the peoples that live here.

The other attractions of the Kremlin include the leaning Söyembikä Tower, Preobrazhenskaya and Taynitskaya Towers, the Governor's courtyard, Artillery courtyard, a branch of Sant Petersburg's Hermitage Museum, the Museum of Islamic Culture, archeological remains of the khan palace, mosques and tombs of the Kazan khans. The Kremlin also has lots of vistas with astonishing views of the Volga and Kazanka rivers and different parts of the city.