Tourist centers of the Republic of Tatarstan





According to the official version, the city was founded at least 1000 years ago as an outpost on the northern boundaries of Volga Bulgaria.
As the history of every great city the story of Kazan is very similar to a myth or an adventure novel. This, for sure, does not mean the lack of truth but the presence of unexpected turning points in its life.
The feature of Kazan is an incredible ability to smoothly combine the two elements. This amazing city brings together antiquity and modernity, Asia and Europe, Islam and Orthodoxy, Russian and Tatar cultures are not confronting each other but are blended together into a whole. The peculiarity of Kazan is the multi-layered trait architecture. Here, side by side, coexist the ancient Soyembika Tower and the modern entertainment center “Pyramid”, white stone Annunciation Cathedral is wonderfully rhymed with the Kul Sharif Mosque. The splendor of “Naryshkin baroque” of Saint Peter and Paul Cathedral is adjoined to strict classical lines of the main building of the Kazan University.
The most conspicuous landmark of the city - Kazan Kremlin has undergone through a stormy, and even dramatic historical events. From the second half of the 13th century to the first half of the 15th century, the Kremlin became the center of Kazan duchy within the Golden Horde. After the fall of the Golden Horde, Kazan Kremlin turned into a military and administrative center of the Kazan Khanate. Later on when Kazan was captured by the troops of Ivan the Terrible in 1552, the former capital of the Kazan Khanate becomes the administrative and military center of the adjoined Volga Region. Since 1708, the Kremlin is the center of the Kazan province. From 1922 to 1992, the Kazan Kremlin continued to serve as the administrative center of the Tatar Autonomous Republic, and since 1992 as a national center of the Republic of Tatarstan being a part of the Russian Federation. The Kremlin is the residence of the President of the Republic of Tatarstan.
The Kazan Kremlin is the state historical and architectural memorial reserve, which was included into UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage list in 2000.



Arsky district is one of the oldest regions of the Kazan Khanate. There were houses in the personal possession of the governors and nobles. This land for centuries has been a great and steady support of Kazan khans. According to the legend Arsk was founded by Batyi Khan in the 13th century.
Find yourself in this town and keep in mind that you are in the “rear of Kazan”. The fortress of Arsk has long been the north rear outpost of the Kazan Khanate. The city was founded in the 13th century by the well-known Batyi Khan. It was first mentioned in Russian chronicles in 1497. Today Arsk is a small but perfectly modern town in the north-east of Tatarstan, 65 kilometers away from the capital.
While travelling in Arsk you can make an exciting New Year’s trip to the residence of “Kysh Babai and Kar Kizi” (Tatar Santa Claus and his granddaughter), which is located in the village of Yana Kyrlai.
The central square of Arsk is decorated with the modern building constructed of brick and high-tech materials. The tower was built in honor of the Arsk residents - victims of the Great Patriotic War. Climb up the stairs and you will see the whole town and its suburbs at a glance. Locals recommend this spot as a start to the exploring journey of the city.
If you find yourself tired of town and museums - go fishing! There is an entertainment complex, 8 kilometers away where you can easily catch some carps, grass and silver carps, or pikes from May to October.


Ancient City of Bolgar

The modern city of Bolgar is the administrative center of Spassky district of the Republic of Tatarstan. It is located on the banks of the great Volga river 120 km below Kazan. Bolgar was the political, economic and cultural center of the Volga Bulgaria. The state governor resided there, it was the place for minting coins, developing crafts such as ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy, metal processing, pottery, jewelry, leather crafts, bone and stone carving and many others.
Bolgar State Historical and Architectural Museum-Reserve is one of the few of its kind among the historical and architectural complexes of the Volga Tatars. Today you can see the restored monuments of archeology and surface buildings which belong to the Golden Horde era and Bulgar civilizations, feel the spirit of the medieval oriental city and visit the new museum exhibits and venues of tourist infrastructure. In 2014, the Bolgar historical and architectural complex was included into the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage list.



     This charming 1000 year old trade center located on the shore of the river Kama is surrounded by magnificent nature. It is a small district town, where the fates of many remarkable people were mingled together and it is also modern town for the automotive industries and oil companies.
Elabuga arose at the end of 10 – 11th centuries and formed as an urban-type settlement in 1005-1010 years. The Empress Ekaterina II promulgated the decree in 1780 where Elabuga was renamed from the Trekhsvyatskii village to the district town of Vyatka province. Later Elabuga became a place of brisk and lively trade and by the middle of the 19th century it has transformed into a trade center of Kama region. The names of the merchants of Elabuga are widely renowned especially for their donations for construction of city buildings: Stakheevs, Ushakovs, Chernovs, Girbasovs and others.
Elabuga land was the last home for the poet Marina Tsvetaeva. Name of the great landscape painter Ivan Shishkin is closely linked with the National Park “Lower Kama”, where he created his famous paintings – “Ship Grove”, "Morning in a Pine Forest". The town has a memorial house-museum of the great artist and the homestead museum of N.Durova, the heroine of the Patriotic War of 1812.
Not far from Elabuga there is the famous Elabuga mound “Chertovo gorodishche” - the remains of a fortified settlement from the Volga tribes of the first millennium В.C. The surviving stone tower is a symbol of the Elabuga settlement.
In 2000 Elabuga received the highest UNESCO award - the “Palm branch” golden medal for the preservation of historical heritage.




Laishevo town is included in the list of historical places of Russia. The history of the city is very saturated. It was built in 1557 at the site of Laish Bulgar settlement, 56 miles away from Kazan. Firstly it was inhabited by the military people - archers, gunners, then Laishev has turned into a major metallurgical and craft center. Later on it becomes a district town, and then - the Laishevo village turning in 1950 into an urban-type settlement. Status of the city was given back to it only in 2004, but the “o” letter in the end is still there in its title.
The famous Russian poet Derzhavin, who was born in the village of Sokury, a little north of Laishevo, is a person with whom are associated a lot of places and events happening in the city; Laishevo is often informally referred to as the center of Derzhavinskiy district. One of the squares in Laishevo is called “Derzhavinskaya” with the monument erected in the memory of the poet. The district History Museum in the House of Folk Art in Laishevo has an extensive collection of items related and devoted to the poet and it even bears his name. The city annually holds the splendid costumed holiday of Derzhavin, Derzhavin readings with the Republican Literature Prize Award, as well as the All-Russian literary Derzhavin Festival.
When you will plan your visit to Laishevo, please note that in the end of May there is a big state ethnic festival Karavon in Nikolskoye village. More than 10 thousand people from all over Russia come to participate.



          Ancient Bulgar settlement in the vicinity of Mamadysh appeared at the beginning of the 12th century. It was mentioned as “Ak Kirmen”, “White Kirmen” in 1151 in the chronicles of Kievan Russia, which means “White Castle” translated into Russian… It is well known that the fortified settlement Kermenchuk was the center of the quite independent principality Volga-Kama Bulgaria in the 12-14th centuries. And until recently, the remains of its walls were located 18 km away from the modern Mamadysh, near the village of Russian Kirmen.
        The Russian settlements began to emerge from the second half of the 16th century in the lowlands of the Vyatka and Kama rivers, after Kazan was captured by Ivan the Terrible in 1552, and Mamadysh lands were included into the Russian state. The word “Mamadysh” itself started to appear in written sources from the end of the 16th century.
Mamadysh is located 167 km eastward of Kazan. Since this town stands on the banks of the river Vyatka it is marked with incredibly beautiful and scenic landscapes – the waterfront of Mamadysh looks especially charming. It is very pleasant to sit in a comfortable gazebo on the river banks resting in silence. The city is famous for its distilleries with centuries-old traditions.
The traditional fest of Kryashen culture “Pitrau” is held annually on July 12 on the picturesque meadow Tyrlau in Zyuri village of Mamadyshsky district in commemoration of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul. This national holiday has outgrown its initial scope and became a festival of peoples’ friendship. Every year it welcomes over 50 thousand participants and guests. Folk games and sports competitions include the arm wrestling, weight-lifting, sumo, checkers and chess, pots battles, boom fights, boom fights over the water, fishing with hands, climbing on vertical and inclined poles over the water, tug of war, battle on the stumps, cross-country skiing, running in flippers, bound feet races, carrying weights in teeth, egg in a spoon races, sack races, searching for coins in yogurt, river crossing, blindfolded egg hunting, wood sawing, races with bag of flour, “ochpochmak” (the triangle) and many others.
Island-town Sviyazhsk 30 kilometers away from Kazan, at the mouth of the fast and overflowing Sviyaga river is located the miraculous island-town Sviyazhsk. There are many cities in Russia each with its own simple or complicated history. But only a few of them can boast the same history as Sviyazhsk, a small village but the city before.
Sviyazhsk was built by Ivan the Terrible in 1551 in just four weeks to serve as an outpost for the siege of Kazan; it became the first Orthodox city in our province, the center where the Christianity was spread from. Many tourists from all over the country visit this charming island.
The uniqueness of the island is in a sole example of special ancient town planning and construction of wooden buildings.
Island-town Sviyazhsk is included in the UNESCO preliminary list of cultural and natural heritage. The main attractions of Sviyazhsk are Uspensky Monastery and Ioanno-Predtechensky nunnery. Both are located in the western part of the island and are easily seen from the right bank of the Sviyaga river which is also a location for health and sports skiing complex “Kazan”. In addition, the historical and architectural composition of Island-town Sviyazhsk includes: Uspensky Cathedral (16th century), Church of Constantine and Helen (16th-18th centuries), Trinity Church of Ioanno-Predtechensky nunnery (16th century), Sergievskaya Church (1604), Church of the Mother of God “The Joy of All Who Sorrow” (1906).
Surrounded by water this fabulous island is a magnet for tourists and travellers. A man once stepped on the holy land of Sviyazhsk, full of unsolved mysteries, will keep the memories of that very special sublime atmosphere of something indestructible and sacred, which wraps the place turning it into a magical land.
In order to get to the island-town of Sviyazhsk take a tourist boat or one of the speed riverboats from Kazan river port (the travelling time is 1 hour).



According to one version the town was initially founded as Tetyushskiy outpost in 1578, the other version goes back to 1555 or 1557. However, the settlement on the site of modern Tetyushi is known since the times of Kazan Khanate. Located on the right bank of the Volga River, it occupied the strategic defensive position.
Among the cultural and architectural attractions of Tetyushi is the first stone building of the city - the Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan (1773), which was destroyed during the Soviet era and rebuilt in 1990, the local museum, the Museum of Ivan Yakovlev - Chuvash teacher and educator, located in the village of Koshki-Novotimbaevo. The famous artist Mikhail Kupriyanov - one of the members of the “Kukryniksy” caricature art team was born here. The pearl of Tetyushi is historical and architectural natural park “Dolgaya polyana”, the buildings of male (1914) and female (1906) gymnasiums, home of a local doctor A. Bogolyubov.
In 2013 the monument to 960-pound beluga once caught in the Volga River was built in Tetyushi.


 Chistopol is known as the city of the best clock masters. The town is known for the watch set to fly in the space and for many other interesting facts. Once upon a time it was a village. It was first mentioned in Russian chronicles in the late 17th - early 18th centuries. According to the most popular version, the first settlers were peasants who escaped and ran away from serfdom. At the beginning of the 18th century they were evicted, and the village was burned down to an empty field. The ones who survived and avoided the exile rebuilt their houses and called their land in the memory of the great conflagration.
In 1781, a decree by Ekaterina II granted Chistopol the status of a district town, with the establishment of its own coat of arms. During the Great Patriotic War, the town sheltered some of the Soviet writers and poets including Boris Pasternak, Leonid Leonov, Arseny Tarkovsky, Marina Tsvetaeva, Anna Akhmatova, Mikhail Maksimov, one of the authors of the famous war song “Blue Handkerchief” performed by Klavdia Shulzhenko.
Chistopol is a well-groomed city with narrow streets and cobblestone pavements, with ornate lanterns and tracery balconies on the former merchants’ houses. Temples can be found side by side with mosques. The parks are clean and quiet. Anyone will enjoy a walk in the “typical Russian” provincial town.
A few kilometers from Chistopol you'll find the remains of Dzhuketau, a city of the ancient Bolgar which served as a trade center during pre-Mongol period.
In 1990 Chistopol was included in the list of historical places of the Russian Federation.

Last updated: Jul, 13, 2020, 14:27

All content on this site is licensed under
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International