Baumana Street

Egor Aleev/TASS
In the times of the Kazan khan it was called Nogayskaya Doroga (Nogayskaya Road), in the times of the Russian tsars it was named Bolshaya Prolomnaya Ulitsa (in memory of the explosions that fractured (prolomili) the walls of the khan's fortress). In 1986 it became Kazan's first pedestrian street, and has been a constant site of street parties and celebrations. In recent years, it has become the city's commercial and entertainment centre with dozens of restaurants, cafés, souvenir shops and selfie spots. Prices vary but are generally very affordable and a cafe lunch will set you back 250 rubles.

Almost any café will serve traditional Tatar dishes: chicken broth noodle soup, pelmeni or manty dumplings and baked goods such as triangular echpochmak pies, round peremyach or vak-balish pies or sweet gubadiya. Of course you will be served tea and sweets including the legendary honey desserts chak-chak and talkysh kalyave.

The principal landmarks of Ulitsa Baumana are the bell tower of the Epiphany Cathedral (the city's tallest building until just 100 years ago), the Monastery of Saint John the Baptist, the Bolshoi Drama Theatre of V. I. Kachalov, the Constructivist building of the Print House, monuments to opera singer Chaliapin, the coach of Catherine II and the Kazan Cat. There are fountains with bronze figures and the “Zero meridian of Kazan” memorial sign.

The monument to Feodor Chaliapin was erected in 1999 near the bell tower where the future singer was baptised. The famous bass singer was first heard in Kazan, where he was born. He spent the first 17 years of his life and began his career singing the part of Zaretsky in the Eugene Onegin opera staged by the Kazan Society of the Lovers of Performing Arts.