and Tatarstan
Tatarstan is one of Russian republics. Its capital, Kazan, is situated in 800 kilometres East from Moscow. Kazan has become a popular tourist destination not only among Russians, but also among foreign travellers. It's unofficially called the Russia's Third Capital.

According to historians, Kazan was founded at the beginning of the 11 th century. In the Middle Ages Kazan became a trading (blacksmithing, leather production, etc.) and cultural center of the Golden Horde. Afterward, it became the capital of Kazan Khanate, but in the 16 th century, Ivan IV joined it to Russia by force. As a part of Russian Empire, Kazan improved its industry, education (the third university in the country was opened there), and the level of life. Although Kazan suffered during the Civil War, it grew in the 20 th century turning into a megacity.
Nowadays, due to numerous landmarks, Kazan is a popular tourism direction. The ensemble of its medieval Kremlin is very impressive, as well as fine mosque Qol Sharif. Everyone enjoy visiting parks, museums, theaters of Kazan; besides, this city is a center of many national and international festivals of classical and modern (including ethnic) music.

The Kazan Kremlin is unique because historically and architecturally it continually discovers the history, the interchange of values between several cultures and civilizations. The Kazan Kremlin is not the only ancient urban fort on the bank of the Volga river. It is the only monument to the lost culture of the Kazan khanate. It is the only surviving Tatar fortress.

It is an example of the synthesis of Tatar and Russian architecture. It combines various styles and historical epochs. Inside the Kremlin complex we can clearly see the influences of Volga Bulgaria, the Golden Horde and the Kazan khanate. The Kremlin developed under the influence of two religions — Christianity and Islam.

Nowadays the Kazan Kremlin symbolizes the nation's history, its culture and traditions. In the course of many years Russian and Tatar cultures developed side by side. This can be easily seen in the Kazan Kremlin. Magnificent golden crosses of the Annunciation Cathedral harmonize with ornate minarets of Kul-Sharif Mosque.

In 2000 the Kazan Kremlin became a monument of UNESCO World Heritage.