28 Best Sights of Tatarstan – descriptions and photos

28 Best Sights of Tatarstan – descriptions and photos

The pearl of the Kazan Kremlin is poetically called the architectural symbol of Kazan – the Suyumbike Tower, which, in addition to its historical significance, is also known as an object of urban mythology. It is one of the so-called “falling” towers.

Annunciation Cathedral in Kazan

Annunciation Cathedral is the oldest building of the Kazan Kremlin ensemble. Moreover, this beautiful 16th century church has long been Kazan’s main temple, in which priests were ordained. However, the Annunciation Cathedral attracts not only pilgrims, but also architecture lovers.

Borovets Church in Naberezhnye Chelny

Borovetskaya Church, or Holy Ascension Church in Naberezhnye Chelny, is an architectural monument of republican significance, protected by the state. Built in 1872, the three-domed wooden Borovetskaya Church later acquired stone walls.

The Farmers’ Palace

One of the controversial, but extremely spectacular modern attractions of the center of Kazan is the Palace of Farmers, built in 2010. The name is due to the fact that the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Tatarstan is located in the Palace of Farmers.

House Museum of Ivan Shishkin

The great Russian painter Ivan Shishkin was born and grew up in Elabuga, living here until 1852. He was descended from an ancient merchant family of Shishkins, his father, Ivan Vasilievich, did a lot of good for Elabuga, constantly donating money to preserve and exaggerate its history.

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Zakaban Mosque

Zakaban Mosque was built in Kazan for the thousandth anniversary of the adoption of Islam (therefore it is often called the Jubilee Mosque). Despite the fact that it was erected in the period of progressive atheism during the Soviet era, it became a place where the Tatars were united.

Bulgar Mound Reserve

Founded in 1969, the Bulgar Historical and Architectural Museum-Reserve is the oldest institution of its kind in Tatarstan. “Bulgar Settlement” is a large-scale complex of buildings erected in the period from the 10th to the 13th century.

Kazan Kremlin

The Kazan Kremlin is the main attraction of the capital of Tatarstan, which without exaggeration can be called the “heart” of the city. It is a huge complex, which harmoniously and distinctively combines Russian and Tatar cultural traditions.

Kul Sharif

Kul Sharif Mosque in Kazan is the main mosque of Tatarstan, one of the largest Muslim temples in Europe, which is located on the territory of the Kazan Kremlin. The mosque was named after Kul Sharif – the last imam of the destroyed temple.

The Marjani Mosque

The construction of the Marjani Mosque in 1767-1770 was the epitome of the beginning of a period of religious tolerance in Russia. Residents raised a sum of 5,000 rubles, and the first, since the capture of Kazan in 1552 by Ivan the Terrible, a stone Marjani mosque was built.

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Tauba Mosque in Naberezhnye Chelny

Tauba (translated from Arabic as “repentance”) is a remarkable religious landmark of the old part of Naberezhnye Chelny, a mosque that organically blends in with the buildings of the picturesque bank of the Kama River, but is still the architectural dominant among them.

National Museum of the Republic of Tatarstan

National Museum of the Republic of Tatarstan has about 800 thousand exhibits. Among the most valuable are Egyptian and ancient collections, collections of gold coins, ancient scrolls, handwritten books and memorabilia of figures of Tatar literature.

Cathedral Mosque of Bolgar

One of the pearls of Tatarstan is the ancient city of Great Bulgar with a huge number of architectural sights. The Tatars have a proverb – “He who does not know the history of his ancestors, he does not feel the taste of life”. Therefore, to enjoy all its charms, it is necessary to visit these places.

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Bauman Street

As Moscow is not Moscow without Arbat, and Kiev is not Kiev without Khreshchatyk, so it is impossible to imagine Kazan without Bauman Street. This ancient street of the historic center of the city is the same age of the Kazan Kremlin, a place of worship with many places of interest.

Church of Cosmas and Damian in Naberezhnye Chelny

In Naberezhnye Chelny there are many architectural cult monuments. In the small village of Orlovka, not leaving the city limits, there is a temple of Saints Cosmas and Damian, built in 1859 – the oldest building in Naberezhnye Chelny.

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Devil’s fortress in Elabuga

You are in Elabuga ancient settlement, it means that you’ve come to visit devils! Do not be frightened, these are just legends. And here’s what history says. In the Bulgarian period, 10-14 centuries, there was a strong point of the Bulgarians in the eastern Kama region. All that remains today is a stone tower. In 1844 it collapsed.

Azimov Mosque

Kazan is famous for its religious buildings. There are dozens of them in the city, but there are several that deserve special attention. The Azimov Mosque of the 19th century belongs to such, serving both as a decoration of the capital of Tatarstan and as a monument of religious architecture.

Alexandrovsky Park in Elabuga

Today, Alexandrovsky Park in Elabuga is a favorite recreation place for local residents and tourists coming here. However, before it became such, the park experienced several “ups and downs” – from its foundation back in 1856 to its desolation and vice versa.

Alexander’s Passage

Built in 1883 as a profitable house by the merchant A. S. Alexandrov, the passage amazed the imagination with the luxury of the Art Nouveau and Baroque interiors. The ultramodern word of technology for Kazan of that time was the presence of elevators, air heating and electric lighting.

Ananya burial ground

Ananya burial ground is a unique monument of ancient times. It was discovered in the vicinity of Elabuga in 1868 and is still thoroughly studied. Many objects found here entered the collections not only of the city museums, but also spread to other museums and exhibitions in Russia.

Tatarstan is very diverse, and depending on where you find yourself, you can find the most diverse attractions. At least two monuments included by UNESCO in the World Heritage List are located in Tatarstan.

Kazan, the capital, a large and beautiful city, is the place to start exploring Tatarstan. The impressive Kremlin, the largest mosque in Russia, and a full immersion in Tatar culture await tourists here. Today Kazan is probably the busiest and most interesting city in the Volga region. The Suyumbike Tower, the beauty of the Kazan Kremlin, which is also among the “Falling Towers” is a must-see; the Kul Sharif Mosque; the Bulgari Mosque; the new Marjani Mosque; the National Museum with a magnificent collection of ancient Egyptian and ancient artifacts; the Peter and Paul Cathedral; the monumental Palace of Agriculture of 2010. Be sure to pay attention to the Kazan Cat in Bauman Street, and the Temple of All Religions, which began construction in 1994.

Very curious is Bolgar, where you can see the ruins of the historic capital of the Volga Bulgaria, the settlement of Bulgar.

Elabuga – a small cozy town, famous first of all for the ruins of the castle of the 11th century, secondly for the fact that Ivan Shishkin was born here, and thirdly for the fact that Marina Tsvetaeva committed suicide here. The main attractions in Elabuga – house-museum of Shishkin, the beautiful Monastery of Kazan Mother of God and the Cathedral of the Savior Not Made by hands, the Church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker and Marina Tsvetaeva Memorial Complex. Near Elabuga there is a unique Ananya burial ground.

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Kamaevo is a small village near Elabuga and Naberezhnye Chelny. Those who are interested in archeology should go to Kamaevo: the museum-reserve “Old Kazan” is located here. And Zelenodolsk is interesting because the famous Raifa monastery is located nearby.

In the city of Naberezhnye Chelny is a very interesting mosque Tauba, built in 1992. This is a rare example of Art Nouveau architecture for such buildings. And in 2009 in the city center is being built monumental mosque Jamig.

Very curious is Bolgar, where you can see the ruins of the historic capital of the Volga Bulgaria, the site of Bulgar. At one time it was the spiritual center of Tatarstan, and to this day this place with its city walls, towers and mosques remains a pilgrimage destination for Muslims from all over the former Soviet Union, who make a “little hajj” here.

A separate destination is the island of Sviyazhsk, which is located at the confluence of the Sviyaga River into the Volga. Sviyazhsk was not always an island: it was separated from the world by the Kuibyshev reservoir in 1957.

It is definitely worth paying attention to the nature of Tatarstan. In particular, the Lower Kama National Park or the Volga-Kama Nature Reserve. The latter is the only reserve on the territory of the republic, located in Zelenodolsky district. One of the oldest forests in Eastern Europe grows here and there are more than 2600 species of animals.

30 Main Sights of Tatarstan

Tatarstan is one of the most “balanced” regions of Russia in terms of attractions. There are a variety of museums, architectural and natural monuments, relics, which emphasize the national colors of the local peoples, and rarities of the international scale. There is no less choice in historical periods than in topics.

In the republic a lot of attention is paid to preservation of traditions. Attracting tourists is an important direction in the policy of Tatarstan. If you add to this developed infrastructure and modern services, it becomes clear – it is pleasant and interesting to travel around. Do not focus only on big cities. Suburbs and small settlements also have something to offer to the guests.

The most interesting and beautiful places in Tatarstan

List, pictures, names and descriptions of the region’s most popular sights!

Kazan Kremlin

Built in the X-XVI centuries. The total area of the territory is 15 hectares. The complex consists of historical, architectural and cultural monuments. The towers and walls have undergone changes, if compared to the original construction: even during the restorations some changes were made. Among the main attractions are: the white palace church, the presidential palace, Kul-Sharif mosque, Cannon yard complex and others. Now is the residence of the president of the republic.



Historical settlement founded in 1551. Located on an island. At present it has a status of a village. There are all sorts of attractions, including four monasteries and a monument to the victims of political repression. Assumption Cathedral is protected by UNESCO. These places have good tourist prospects. Local values of rarities is enough for a full-fledged museum.


Bulgar Mound Reserve

The year of its foundation is 1969. The constructions collected here date back to the X-XIII centuries. Some belong to the Golden Horde, while others to the Volga Bulgaria. Some of the buildings have religious purpose, and some have economic purpose. Cathedral mosque is an ornament of Bulgar. Nearby are two mausoleums, and slightly further – a small minaret. The researchers found khan’s baths in the center of the settlement. The interior decoration shows the handwriting and style of the time.


Devil’s fortress in Elabuga

The estimated time of construction is the X century. Initially it served as a fortified redoubt for the local tribe. In 1867 the structure had undergone serious reconstruction. It had been almost completely destroyed by local people or by time. The tower, which remained relatively intact, was rebuilt on its old foundations and covered with iron. At the same time windows appeared in the upper half.

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National Museum of the Republic of Tatarstan

Opened in 1894. The main collection exceeds half a million exhibits. Archaeology, numismatics, rare books, negatives, jewelry, weapons, natural history – there is a lot here. Especially valuable are collections related to the local color: for example, the Bulgarsky Likhachev Collection. In addition to the permanent exhibition, there are temporary exhibitions.


Old Tatar Sloboda.

Located in the central part of Kazan. Its heart is Yunusovskaya square. Architectural ensemble for the most part consists of houses of the nobility of the city. The complex is complemented by public buildings, mosques, hotels and even a church. On the territory of the settlement there is a bazaar market, there are also working industrial enterprises. Some of the buildings have changed their purpose, while others have remained unchanged in all respects.


Al-Marjani Mosque

Built in the middle of the XVIII century in the Baroque style. Its construction was the beginning of the acceptance of monarchs of Russia as a multi-confessional state. It is named after Imam who served there for almost forty years. The gravestone of Muhammad-Gali bek is the main relic of the place. All kinds of events of the Muslim community related to traditions and rituals are held on the territory of the mosque.


Temple of All Religions

Located in the village of Staroye Arakchino. Construction lasted from 1992 to 2013. This place is not religious in the full sense of the word. Rather, it is a monument to various world religions. Rites and services are not conducted here, the building is not consecrated or recognized by any religion. This doesn’t prevent it from being a popular attraction both because of the idea and the architecture.


Raifa Bogoroditsky Monastery

It was first mentioned in chronicles in 1613. It was founded by hermits near Kazan. At first the monastery was completely wooden, after a great fire there was a reconstruction, and stone details began to appear with each new repair or reconstruction. After the revolution, the monastery was closed. The revival happened in 1991. On the territory there are several churches, as well as an orphanage for boys.


Volzhsko-Kamsky Reserve

It was founded in 1960. The total area exceeds ten thousand hectares. The purpose of its creation is to preserve the unique ecological systems of the middle Volga region. Researchers are engaged in maintaining the natural environment, restoration of natural complexes, educational work and so on. There is a nature museum and an arboretum on the territory. There are special grounds for observation along the entire perimeter.


Dolgaya Polyana Natural Monument

Year of creation – 2000. The area of the territory is almost 400 hectares. The Molostovs’ Estate is the central part of this natural and historical monument. It is surrounded by all kinds of gardens and park areas. Here you can get acquainted with the life and traditions of the Tatar people. As a part of the sightseeing tour there is an option of national lunch. The color of nature meets customs and antiquities in one place.


Blue Lakes.

Natural reserve on the outskirts of Kazan and adjacent areas. The area is 1,910 hectares. In it are the lakes of the same name. Only three lakes, they are not connected with each other: Big Blue, Protochnoye and Maloye Goluboye. The lakes are fed by underground waters, there are no surface tributaries. Common trees in the area are birch, aspen, and pine. Total plant species are about a hundred, even fewer animals, but there are rare ones.


House-Museum of Ivan Shishkin (Elabuga)

Dedicated to the work and life of an outstanding artist. He is a native of these places, and the house itself belonged to his family – not wealthy merchants. The main exposition is on both floors of the museum. The atmosphere of those years is recreated. Two halls contain some original works by Shishkin, both paintings and graphics. His study looks authentic, in the living room is a lot of personal belongings of the master.

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Yelabuga local history complex

It has spacious halls with different themes of expositions. Much attention is paid to the history of the city and peculiarities of local places. The furnishings and decorations of houses of different time periods are reconstructed. Interactive materials and new technology help you feel the atmosphere. Even a model of Elabuga is built to scale and in fine detail. The complex includes a live corner and a souvenir store.


The Museum of Bread in Bolgar

Opened in 2012. It tells the history of farming and baking bread in Tatarstan. The expositions repeat the decoration of the main buildings for these types of work: mills, bakeries, manor houses, blacksmiths and others. The stands feature original items, some of which were found during excavations. Visitors can try on the images of the workers. One part of the exhibition is the traditions and rituals of the Sabantuy holiday.


Chatyr-Tau Mountain

It is located on the territory of the reserve of the same name. The height is more than 321 meters. Although many people consider Chatyr Tau to be a ridge, it is not. The origin comes to the forefront. The mountain was formed due to erosion, so it is a remnant. The animal life is not rich, but there are representatives of species with a small halo of distribution. Wide slopes and other features of the terrain attract paragliders.


Kara-Kul Lake

Located on the right bank of the river Yarak-Churminka. The reservoir is undrained. It is fed by the underground. Its average depth is 8 meters, the deepest point is 18 meters from the surface of the water. There are a lot of fish, no rare species. Although the name is translated from Tatar as “Black”, the water in it does not have a characteristic color. In the past, there was a dense forest on the shore, and its reflection made the surface dark and gloomy.


Yurievsk cave.

First explored in 1953. Length – about a thousand meters. Half of the cave is available for viewing. There is only one entrance. Gypsum was mined nearby in the past. The cave did not always have such outputs and probably still will change. It even had to be fully excavated to discover new halls. Other natural sites of this level are closed to outsiders and tourists.


Open Air Museum “Tatar Avily

Houses and buildings characterizing the local peculiarities are collected on a specially designated territory. This concerns the national issue, traditions, and crafts characteristic of the region. Tourists can attend master classes, feed and pet animals in a small contact zoo, examine in detail the entire exposition, both with and without a guide. There are also festivals and custom events.


Gabdulla Tukai Memorial Complex

Opened in the village of Novyi Kirlay in 1976, before that it functioned on a voluntary basis at the school. It is dedicated to the life and works of the famous Tatar poet. The estate itself is two-storey. Inside, there are six halls with exhibits: authentic items, documents, publications, etc. Here we are talking not only about Tukai, but also about his native land, countrymen, and the peculiarities of the time.


St. Nicholas Cathedral in Chistopol

Built in 1838. The five-domed cathedral is a typical representative of the classical style. During the Soviet Union it was then closed, then opened, then changed its purpose, even managed to be a warehouse. In 1990 it was returned to the church. The reconstruction began. The reconstruction included attention to small details and early descriptions of the monastery. Thanks to such an approach, it was possible to leave almost no changes and return the original view of the cathedral.


The Kazan Monastery of the Virgin Mary

It was founded in 1579. Originally as a women’s monastery, now it is reclassified as a men’s monastery. After the revolution a period of decline began: the territory was broken up and given away for various needs. The buildings were returned to the ROC not immediately, but gradually. Only in 2005 the monks could occupy the cells. The main relic is the icon “Kazan icon of the Mother of God”, which is associated with many legends.

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Bilyarsk settlement

This ancient settlement is located in the territory of the village of the same name. It is part of the reserve. On this place once was a successful trading city. Now excavations have been completed here. There are information boards with historical references and explanations for visitors all over the territory. A little further is a museum, where the artifacts found by the explorers are collected.


Peter and Paul Cathedral in Kazan

It was founded in the first half of the 18th century in the Russian Baroque style. All rulers of the country, from Catherine to Nicholas II, visited the monastery. The bell tower is built next to a separate building. Nearby is also a parish house. The cathedral has experienced a series of fires, restorations and reconstructions. The last one is dated 1989. There are a lot of relics: icons, and relics of saints.


Kremlin embankment

Completion of construction – 2015. Located in Kazan. Is exclusively pedestrian. It is used not only for walks of local residents and tourists, but also for events. So the embankment became a viewing platform during competitions and major events. Nearby are restaurants, cafes, stores and so on. The entrances and approaches to the area are very convenient.


The Farmers’ Palace

It is located in the historic center of Kazan. The construction was completed in 2010. It fits perfectly into the architecture of the palace square, although disputes about its appearance do not cease. It has domes, columns and carved windows. Full compliance with the style of the Bozar. At night illuminated by multicolored lights. At the moment departments, ministries and organizations subordinate to them are based in the palace.


Bauman Street

Located in the historic center of Kazan. It is completely pedestrian. The total length – 1885 meters. The present appearance was started in the early 90s. Street is a place for strolls, commerce and public events. There are cafes and restaurants, souvenir stores and more status boutiques. From here, it is a short walk to many other attractions of the city.


Victory Park in Kazan

It was founded in the 70s of the last century. The total area of about 50 hectares. In the beginning there were only swampy lands. They were planted with trees and shrubs, and the number of saplings 1418 was not chosen randomly: so many days and nights the war was going on. The memorial was built in 1995. The complex includes: an eternal flame, a stele, commemorative plaques, monuments and numerous avenues. The park is suitable for parades.


Nizhnekamsk Cathedral Mosque

Built in 1996. It is located in Nizhnekamsk. The mosque has four minarets. In addition to prayers and the relevant rituals, the building is used for other purposes. The second important function is education. That is why a community center was opened next to it, there is a library, and there is also a hotel. The contours of the mosque are not quite typical: this was done to harmonize with the surrounding residential buildings of modern construction.


Nizhnyaya Kama National Park

It was founded in 1991. The area exceeds 265 square kilometers. It is located in the valley of Kama. The purpose of its creation is to preserve and restore the unique local climatic zones. Plant and animal worlds are diverse, it is explained by the fact that the park is located at the intersection of three climatic zones. The place is popular with fans of eco-tourism. Developed several interesting permanent routes.

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