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Kazan

kazan gerb 100Kazan is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia. With a population of 1,143,535, it is the eighth most populous city in Russia. Kazan lies at the confluence of the Volga and Kazanka Rivers in European Russia.
The Kazan Kremlin is a World Heritage Site. In 2005, the Medal "In Commemoration of the 1000th Anniversary of Kazan" was established by Russia to denote this landmark event. The multi-ethnic city is honored by UNESCO and famous for Muslims and Christians living side-by-side in peace.
In April 2009, the Russian Patent Office granted Kazan the right to brand itself as the "Third Capital" of Russia. In 2009 it was chosen as the "Sports capital of Russia" and it still is referred to as such. The city will host the 2013 Summer Universiade, 2015 World Aquatics Championships, and 2018 FIFA World Cup.




Economy.

kazan prom 200Kazan is one of the largest industrial and financial centers of Russia, and a leading city of the Volga economic region in construction and accumulated investment. City's Gross Regional Product had reached 380 billion rubles in 2011.
Total banking capital of Kazan banks is third in Russia. The main industries of the city are: mechanical engineering, chemical, petrochemical, light and food industries. An innovative economy is represented by the largest IT-park in Russia which is one of the largest of its kind among Eastern Europe science parks. Kazan ranks 174th (highest in Russia) in Mercer’s Worldwide Quality of Living Survey.

Transportation.

Kazan International Airport.
kazan aero 200Kazan International Airport is located 26 kilometers from the city centre. It is a hub for Tatarstan Airlines and Kazan Air Enterprise and hosts 11 air companies. There is also the Kazan Borisoglebskoye airfield, home to Kazan Aircraft Production Association, a major aircraft factory, famous in the past as "Aircraft Plant 22" ("22nd Zavod"). Adjacent to it lies huge aircraft engines plant ("16th Zavod"). Currently it produces versions of Tupolev 204 and 214 aircraft. In the past an Ilyushin-62, four-engine Russian mainliner, Tupolev-160 "Black Jack" supersonic strategic bomber and Tu-22M tactic bomber were also produced here. Both these plants and adjacent workers' housing make a whole city district known as "Aviastroitelny" ("Aircraft Builders").

Railways.
kazan zdvokzal 200Kazan is connected with Moscow, Ulyanovsk, Yoshkar-Ola and Yekaterinburg by railways.
Main railway station Kazan–Passazhirskaya is located in the city centre and includes main building (built in 1896), commuter trains terminal, ticket office building and some other technical buildings. Station serves thirty-six intercity trains and more than eight million passengers per annum. The Second terminus called "Kazan-2" is situated in the northern part of city. Kazan has also nineteen platforms for commuter trains.
Riverside station
Station serves intercity ships and commuter boats. Pneumocushion boats are used in winter time. Daily passenger turnover reaches 6 thousands.

Bus stations.
kazan avtovok 200There are two bus stations in Kazan — Central and Southern. Bus routes connect Kazan with all districts of Tatarstan, Samara, Ufa, Tolyatti, Orenburg, Ulyanovsk, Cheboksary, Sterlitamak, Buzuluk, Baki and Aktobe. It is planned to build new stations in the East, West and North districts instead of Central for relieving city centre.




Highways.
kazan most 200There are federal highway connections to Moscow and Ufa (E-22), Orenburg (R-239), Ul'yanovsk (R-241) and Igra (R-242). There are also R-175 federal highway and «Northern Europe — Western China» (in construction) route near the city.
There are five bridges across the Kazanka (Qazansu) river in the city, and one bridge connecting Kazan with the opposite bank of the Volga.

Languages.

Tatar and Russian languages are widely spoken in the city. Russian is understood by everyone except for some older Tatars. Tatar is widely spoken mainly by Tatars.

Central Kazan.

Kremlin.
kazan kreml 200The city has a citadel which was declared a World Heritage Site in 2000. Major monuments in the Kremlin are the five-domed six-columned Annunciation Cathedral (1561–62) and the mysterious leaning Soyembika Tower, named after the last queen of Kazan and regarded as the city's most conspicuous landmark.
Also of interest are the towers and walls, erected in the 16th and 17th centuries but later reconstructed; the Qol-Şarif mosque, which is already rebuilt inside the citadel; remains of the Saviour Monastery (its splendid 16th-century cathedral having been demolished by the Bolsheviks) with the Spasskaya Tower; and the Governor's House (1843–53), designed by Konstantin Thon, now the Palace of the President of Tatarstan.
Next door, the ornate baroque Sts-Peter-and-Paul's Cathedral on Qawi Nacmi Street and Marcani mosque on Qayum Nasiri Street date back to the 18th century.

Bistä, or Posad.
kazan hram 200Central Kazan is divided into two districts by the Bolaq canal and Lake Qaban. The first district (Qazan Bistäse or Kazanskiy Posad), historically Russian, is situated on the hill, the second (İske Tatar Bistäse or Staro-Tatarskaya Sloboda), historically Tatar, is situated between the Bolaq and the Volga. Mosques, such as Nurullah, Soltan, Bornay, Apanay, Äcem, Märcani, İske Taş, Zäñgär are in the Tatar district. Churches, such asBlagoveschenskaya, Varvarinskaya, Nikol'skaya, Tikhvinskaya, are mostly in the Russian part of the city. The main city-centre streets are Bauman,Kremlyovskaya, kazan mech 200Dzerzhinsky, Tuqay, Puşkin, Butlerov, Gorkiy, Karl Marx and Märcani.
An old legend says that in 1552, before the Russian invasion, wealthy Tatars (baylar) hid gold and silver in Lake Qaban.

Wooden Kazan.
In the beginning of 1990s most of Central Kazan was covered by wooden buildings, usually consisting of two floors. There was a historical environment of Kazan citizens, but not the best place to live in. During the Republican program "The liquidation of ramshackle apartments" most of them (unlike other Russian cities), especially in Central Kazan, where the land is not cheap, were destroyed and their population was moved to new areas at the suburb of the city (Azino, Azino-2, Quartal 39). Nearly 100,000 citizens resettled by this programme.

Other major buildings.
Another significant building in central Kazan is the former "Smolentzev and Shmelev" tea house and hotel, kazan gorod 200 now the Shalyapin Palace Hotel.It is located at 7/80 Universitetskaya Street, at the corner of Universitetskaya and Bauman. A major landmark of late-19th and early-20th century commercial architecture, it consists of two portions. The original portion, built for a merchant named Usmanov in the 1860s, was bought by the inter-related families of Efim Smolentzev and Pavel and Nikolai Shmelev in 1899. They operated a store selling, among other things, tea. In 1910, the Smolentevs and Shmelevs constructed another portion, designed by architect Vasili Trifonov, and operated a hotel there. After the Russian Revolution, the building eventually became the Hotel Soviet and after 2000 it was heavily renovated to reopen as the Shalyapin Palace Hotel.

Education and Science.

Primary and secondary education.
Primary and secondary education system of Kazan includes:

  • 282 nurseries, most of which are municipal;
  • 178 schools, 2 of which are private;
  • 28 vocational technical schools;
  • 15 colleges;
  • 10 special colleges.

There are also 49 music schools, 10 fine-arts schools and 43 sports schools.

Higher education.
kazan obr 150There are 44 institutes of higher education in Kazan, including 19 branches of universities from other cities. More than 140,000 students are educated in the city. Kazan Federal University (founded in 1804) is third oldest university in Russia after Saint Petersburg State University (1724) and Moscow State University (1755). In 2009 KFU got Federal status as main university of Volga Region. Some other prominent universities are:

  • Kazan State Technical University - founded in 1932. In 2009 it got status of National university;
  • Kazan State Medical University - founded in 1814 as a department within Kazan State University;
  • Kazan State Technological University - founded in 1919 on the base of pre-existing vocational school;
  • Kazan State Conservatory - founded in 1945.

Science.
Kazan is a major scientific centre in Russia. Kazan formed a big number of scientific areas and schools (mathematical, chemical, medical, linguistic, geological, geobotanical, etc.). It is subject of special pride: the creation of non-Euclidean geometry (Nikolai Lobachevsky), the discovery of the chemical element ruthenium (Claus), the theory about the structure of organic compounds (Aleksandr Butlerov), the discovery of the electron paramagnetic resonance (Yevgeny Zavoisky) and acoustic paramagnetic resonance (Altshuler) and many others. City hosts:
Kazan Science Centre of Russian Academy of Sciences, since 1945. It includes 5 academical institutions.
Tatarstan Academy of Sciences, since 1991. It includes 7 local departments with 13 academical institutions (also, 21 organisations are under the guidance of TAS) and one branch in Ulyanovsk.