➤Early morning arrival in Kazan
➤Meet & greet at the train station
➤Transfer to the hotel and guaranteed early check-in
➤Take a guided tour to UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Kremlin of Kazan and other local sights: Kul Sharif Mosque, Syumbike tower & more
➤Tatar National performance with dinner
The Kazan Kremlin is the chief historic citadel of Tatarstan, situated in the city of Kazan. It was built at the behest of Ivan the Terrible on the ruins of the former castle of Kazan khans. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 2000.
The Kazan Kremlin includes many old buildings, the oldest of which is the Annunciation Cathedral (1554-62), the only 16th-century Russian church to have six piers and five apses. Like many of Kazan's buildings of the period, it is constructed of local pale sandstone rather than of brick.
The most conspicuous landmark of the Kazan Kremlin is the leaning Söyembikä Tower, which probably goes back to the reign of Peter the Great. A well-known legend connects the tower with the last queen of the Khanate of Kazan. Another recognizable architectural feature is the Spasskaya Tower, which anchors the southern end of the Kremlin and serves as the main entrance to the Kremlin.
The Spasskaya Tower is named after the Spassky Monastery, which used to be located nearby. Among the monastery's buildings was the Church of St. Nicholas (1560s, four piers) and the Cathedral of the Saviour's Transfiguration (1590s, six piers). They were destroyed by the Communists during Joseph Stalin's rule. Also of interest are snow-white towers and walls, erected in the 16th and 17th centuries but later renovated; the Qol-Şärif mosque, recently rebuilt inside the citadel; and the Governor's House (1843-53), designed by Konstantin Thon, now the Palace of the President of Tatarstan. The Palace is believed to be located on the site of a former Khan's palace. Tucked between Presidential Palace and Söyembikä Tower is the palace church built on the foundation of a medieval mosque. The Northern wall of the Kremlin contains another gated tower - Secret Tower, so named because it used to house a secret water supply well. This tower allows pedestrian access to the Kremlin, but vehicle access is restricted to emergencies only.