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Kazan (English)
Казань (Russian)
Казан (Tatar)

Location of Republic of Tatarstan on the map of Russia
Kazan is located in Tatarstan
Location of Kazan on the map of the Republic of Tatarstan
55°47′N 49°10′E / 55.783°N 49.167°E / 55.783; 49.167Coordinates: 55°47′N 49°10′E / 55.783°N 49.167°E / 55.783; 49.167
Coat of Arms Flag
City Day: August 30
Administrative status
Federal subject
In jurisdiction of
Capital of
Republic of Tatarstan
Republic of Tatarstan
Republic of Tatarstan
Local self-government
Charter Charter of Kazan
Municipal status Urban okrug
Mayor Ilsur Metshin
Representative Body City Duma
Area 425.2 km² (164.2 sq mi)
2002 Census
- Rank
- Density
1,105,289 inhabitants
2,599.5/km² (6,732.7/sq mi)
Founded ~1005
Mentioned in chronicle 1177
Capital of khanate since 1438
Conquered by Russia 1552
Capital of Tatarstan since 1920
Other information
Postal code 420xxx
Dialing code +7 843
Official website

Kazan (Russian: Каза́нь; Tatar: Казан, Qazan) is the capital city of the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia, and one of Russia's largest cities. It is a major industrial, commercial and cultural center, and remains the most important center of Tatar culture. Kazan lies at the confluence of the Volga and Kazanka Rivers in central European Russia.



[edit] Name

The origin of the name is unclear. The literal translation of the Tatar word qazan is a boiler or cauldron. Alternately, it may have been derived from qazğan, Tatar for dug [ditch].

"Qazan" is originally a name for a special cooking pan, a variant of a wok, but more solid and heavier. It was believed that the city of Kazan is named after this object because of its geographical similarity with a "qazan"-pan; namely the city is situated in a U-shaped lowland.

Another, more romantic legend tells a story of a Tatar princess Söyembikä, who dropped a golden dish (golden qazan) in to the river on which the city is located while washing it.

Additionally, Chuvash legends refer to the Bulgarian Prince Khusan (Хусан) (Chuvash rendering of the Muslim name Hasan) and Chuvashes call this city Хусан after the name of this prince, Hasan.


[edit] Climate

[hide] Weather averages for Kazan 
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 55
Average low °F (°C) 4
Precipitation inches (mm) 0.8
Source: {{{source}}} {{{accessdate}}}

[citation needed]

[edit] History

The view of the Kazan Kremlin

There is a long-running dispute as to whether Kazan was founded by the Volga Bulgars in the early Middle Ages or by the Tatars of the Golden Horde in the mid-fifteenth century, as written records before the latter period are sparse. If there was a Bulgar City on the site, estimates of its foundation range from the early 11th century to the late 13th century (see Iske Qazan). It was a block-post on the border between Volga Bulgaria and Finnic tribes (Mari, Udmurt). Another vexed question is where the citadel was built originally. Archaeological explorations have produced evidence of an urban settlement in three parts of the modern city: in the Kremlin, in Bişbalta in the place of modern Zilantaw monastery and near the Qaban lake. The oldest was the Kremlin which could be dated back to the 11th century.

In the 11th and 12th centuries, Kazan could have shielded a Volga trade route from Scandinavia to Iran. It was a trade center, and possibly a major city for Bulgar settlers in the Kazan region, although their capital was at the city of Bolğar further South.

In the 13th century, re-settlers came to Kazan from Bolğar and Bilär area, which had been ruined by the Mongols. Kazan became a center of a duchy, which was a dependency of the Golden Horde. In 1430s Hordian Tatars (such as Ghiasetdin) usurped power in the duchy, which was ruled by Bolghar dynasty before.

Some Tatars also went to Lithuania, brought back by Vytautas the Great. The Grand Duchy of Lithuania's influence spread as far east as here.

After the destruction of the Golden Horde, Kazan became the capital of the powerful Khanate of Kazan (1438). The city bazaar Taş Ayaq (Stone Leg)' became the most important trade center in the region, especially for furniture. The citadel and Bolaq channel were reconstructed, giving the city a strong defensive capacity. The Russians managed to occupy the city briefly several times, but before the 1552 they withdrew.

In 1552, the city was conquered by Russia under Ivan the Terrible and the majority of the population was massacred. During the governorship of Alexander Gorbatyi-Shuisky, most of the khanates's Tatar residents were killed, repressed, or forcibly Christianized. Mosques and palaces were ruined. The surviving Tatar population was moved to a place 50 km away from the city and this place was forcibly settled by Russian farmers and soldiers. Tatars in the Russian service were settled in the Tatar Bistäse settlement near the city's wall. Later Tatar merchants and handicraft masters also settled there.

Kazan was largely destroyed as a result of several great fires. After one of them in 1579, the icon Our Lady of Kazan was discovered in the city. During the Time of Troubles in Russia the independence of the Kazan Khanate was restored with the help of the Russian population, but this independence was suppressed by Kuzma Minin in 1612. The history of that period requires further research.

In 1708, the Khanate of Kazan was abolished, and Kazan became the center of a guberniya. After Peter the Great's visit, the city became a shipbuilding base for the Caspian fleet.

The major Russian poet Gavrila Romanovich Derzhavin was born in Kazan in 1743, the son of a poor country squire of Tatar origin though himself having a thorough Russian identity and making a substantial contribution to Russian culture.

Kazan was largely destroyed in 1774 as a result of a revolt by border troops and peasants led by the Don Cossack ataman (captain) Yemelyan Pugachev, but was rebuilt soon afterwards, during the reign of Catherine the Great. Catherine also decreed that mosques could again be built in Kazan, the first being Marjani Mosque. But discrimination against the Tatars continued.

In the beginning of 19th century Kazan State University and Printing Press were founded by Alexander I. The Qur'an was firstly printed in Kazan in 1801, and it became an important centre for Oriental Studies in Russia. By the end of the 19th century, Kazan had become an industrial center of the Middle Volga. People from neighboring villages came to the city looking for work. In 1875, a horse tramway appeared; 1899 saw the installation of a tramway.

After the Russian Revolution of 1905, Tatars were allowed to revive Kazan as a Tatar cultural center. The first Tatar theater and the first Tatar newspaper appeared.

In 1917 1917 Kazan Gunpowder Plant fire occurred in Kazan. In 1918, Kazan was a capital of the Idel-Ural State, which was suppressed by the Bolshevist government. In August 1918 it was shortly occupied by White Czechs. In 1920 (after the October Revolution), Kazan became the center of Tatar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. In the 1920s and 1930s, most of the city's mosques and churches were destroyed (as occurred elsewhere in the USSR).

During World War II, many industrial plants and factories were evacuated to Kazan, and the city subsequently became a center of the military industry, producing tanks and planes.

In the late 1980s and in the 1990s, after the dissolution of the USSR, Kazan again became the center of Tatar culture, and separatist tendencies intensified. Since 2000, the city has been undergoing a total renovation. A single-line metro opened on 27 August 2005. The Kazan Metro has five stations. But there are plans to extend the line in both directions. Kazan celebrated its millennium in 2005, when the largest mosque in Russia, Qolsharif, was inaugurated in the Kremlin, and the holiest copy of Our Lady of Kazan was returned to the city. Major objects like Millennium Bridge also were inaugurated that year. The date of "millennium", however, was fixed rather arbitrarily.

[edit] Recent events

[edit] Historical population

  • 1550–50,000
  • 1708–40,000
  • 1830–43,900
  • 1839–51,600
  • 1859–60,600
  • 1862–63,100
  • 1883–140,000
  • 1897–130,000
  • 1917–206,600
  • 1926–179,000
  • 1939–398,000
  • 1959–667,000
  • 1979–989,000
  • 1989–1,094,400
  • 1997–1,076,000
  • 2000–1,089,500
  • 2002–1,105,289 (census)

[edit] Historical naming

See also: Iske Qazan

  • Tatar (now, 1928–1939): Qazan;
  • (1939–2000): Казан;
  • (1918–1928): قازان ;
  • (1918–1922), Arab: قزان ;
  • Russian: Каза́нь [Kazan];
  • Arab (hist.): Bulgar al-Jadid (in Tatar transliteration:Bolğar âl-Cädid) - New Bolğar;
  • German: Kasan, Latin: Casan, French: Kazan, Latvian: Kazaņa, Polish: Kazań,
  • Finnish: (Old) Kasaani (New) Kasani

[edit] Central Kazan

[edit] Kremlin

Main article: Kazan Kremlin

The city has a beautiful citadel (Russian: kreml, or, sometimes, Tatar: kirman), which was declared the World Heritage Site in 2000. Major monuments in the kremlin are the 5-domed 6-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.

[edit] Bistä or Posad

Central 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 as Blagoveschenskaya, Varvarinskaya, Nikol'skaya, Tikhvinskaya, are mostly in the Russian part of the city. The main city-centre streets are Bauman, Kreml, Dzerjinski, 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.

[edit] 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 programme "The liquidation of old apartments" most of them (unlike other Russian cities), especially in Central Kazan, where the land isn't 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.

[edit] Other Major Buildings

Another significant building in central Kazan is the former "Smolentzev and Shmelev" tea house and hotel, 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. [1] 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. [2] 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.

[edit] Education

The Kazan State University was founded in 1804 and has had several prominent students, including Nikolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky, Leo Tolstoy and Vladimir Lenin.

Kazan State Technical University was established in 1932. Today the University is one of the leading institutions in the development of aircraft and rocket engineering, engine- and instrument-production, computer science and radio engineering. The Kazan Finance and Economics Institute trains economists for finance and credit system and industry. Every year it turns out hundreds of specialists.

There are nearly 20 institutes and universities in Kazan, but they are not as prominent and most of them are commercial institutes.

[edit] Administrative system

The main body of legislative authority of the city is the Kazan City Council. Executive power is exercised by Kazan City Administration.

Kazan is divided into seven city districts.[citation needed]

[edit] Consulates

Two consulate generals are found in Kazan. [3]

  • Flag of Iran Consulate-General of Iran.
  • Flag of Turkey Consulate-General of Turkey.

[edit] Economy

The capital of the Republic of Tatarstan is Kazan - a large railway, highway and airway knot, the largest port on the Volga River. Kazan is the main economic centre of Tatarstan. 35% of population, employed in economic branches, concentrate in Kazan. 151 large and medium-size companies are situated in the city, including 98 JSC.

Main branches of municipal industry are as follows: automotive, chemical and petrochemical, light and food industries.

In 2002 the gross territorial product of Kazan reached 96,8 billion rubles. It was mainly formed by the industrial production (27 %), trade and public catering (21,9 %), transport (6,6 %), building sector (4,9 %), net taxes (20 %). Industrial enterprises produced 45 billion rubles worth of products (111,4 % in established prices to the 2001 level). The wages in industry were 4500 rubles (21,5 % higher than in the previous year). The average salary as a whole exceeded 4200 rubles (142,9 % in year-on-year terms). The physical index of industrial production as a whole was 105,3 %. As a preliminary, the industrial income was 6 billion rubles (102,8 % in year-on-year terms).

48,6% of goods produced in Kazan are sold inside the Republic of Tatarstan, 31% - in the territory of Russia, 20,4% - is exported to the CIS countries and countries of "far abroad".

Export sales of JSC "Kazanorgsintez" form more than 30% of the total volume of enterprise's output. JSC "Kazan Helicopter Plant" exports 92,3% of its output.

JSC "Kazan Optical-mechanical Plant" exports 36,6% of its output.

JSC "Kazanorgsintez" is one of the largest chemical enterprises in Russia. It produces more than a half of the whole polyethylene production of the country. It was included to the RF State List of associations and monopoly enterprises producing polyethylene, polyethylene pipes and details of pipelines. Enterprise is marked by a high management level and firm growth of output volume. Produce quality meets the European standards and is exported to many world countries.

"Kazan Automotive Industrial Enterprise" (KMPO) has more than 60 years experience in aircraft engine production. It has been producing 65% of all engines for civil planes (Il-62, IL-86, Tu-104 and Tu-154), as well as the engines for bombers and helicopters. Today JSC "KMPO" is one of the defence industry enterprises capable to preserve stable financial-economic position. The production of aircraft engine AI-22, gas-pumping unit GPA-16 "Volga", automatic gas distribution station AGRS "Istok", automatic gearbox for buses has been mastered.

JSC "Kazan Helicopter Plant" is the largest producer of helicopters of M. L. Mil design. The helicopters Mi-8 and Mi-17 have brought high popularity for the enterprise. Their reliability, versatility were highly appreciated. At present moment a light multipurpose helicopter Ansat production is being mastered.

A new aircraft Tu-214, produced at the Kazan Aircraft Enterprise n. a. S.P. Gorbunov in March, 2000, got the second class AP-25 certificate, which confirms the full aircraft's adequacy to American and European standards. No other aircraft in Russia has such a certificate. Recently, the Enterprise was said to be mastering a new average main jet aircraft Tupolev Tu-324. Although championed by Russian president Vladimir Putin, the Tu-324 now appears dead, as Tupolev places any private R&D resources available for civil projects into a study into the proposed Tu-414, a 75-seat jet that borrows many of the Tu-324's design traits.

During the many decades a branch of design and production of medical equipment including scientific, design and production groups has been developed.

A unique enterprise JSC "Kazan Medical-instrumental Plant" has been functioning in Kazan for nearly 70 years. It is a large and the one and the only enterprise in Russia producing more than 300 PCs of medical instruments and equipment practically for all branches of medicine.

Annually the enterprise KPHFO "Tathimfarmpreparat" produces and sells 400 million medicines of more than 130 appellations, including cardiovascular, pain-relieving, anti-fever, counter tuberculosis, ocular and antibiotics. The high quality and low price distinguish products of this company.

PO "Teplocontrol" was awarded "The Arch of European Golden Star" for perfect reputation and quality of its output. Nowadays, with the account of problems of thermal energy calculation, it has mastered production of radiator thermal regulators "Comfort", and started to producing, assembling, delivering and servicing the automatic calculation and regulation units of thermal energy for houses and plants buildings.

JSC "Kazancompressormash" is one of the largest producers of special compressor and freezing equipment. Its output is supplied to large plants and groups of enterprises of metallurgical, gas, oil, chemical and other branches of industry.

[edit] Languages

Russian and Tatar languages are widely spoken in the city. Russian is understood by practically all the population, apart from some older Tatars. Tatar is widely spoken mainly by Tatars. The offensive term Mankurt (Mañqort) is used for Tatars who are ashamed of their own culture and language.

Not much English is spoken in the city, but young people tend to understand it.

[edit] City ethnic communities

[edit] Tatars and Russians

The city's population is mainly composed of Tatars (about 52 percent) and Russians (about 43 percent). Nearly a third of all marriages in the city are between Tatars and Russians.

[edit] Other communities