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For the Japanese emperor see Emperor Kazan

Kazan (Tatar (now, 19281939): Qazan; (19392000): Казан; (19181928): ﻦﺍﺯﺎﻘ ; (9221918), Arab: ﻦﺍﺯﻘ ; Russian: Каза́нь [Kazań]; Arab (hist.): Bulgar al-Jadid (in Tatar transliteration:Bolğar âl-Cädid) - New Bolğar; German: Kasan, Latin: Casan, French: Kazan), capital of Tatarstan, Privolzhsky District, is one of Russia's largest cities and a major industrial, commercial and cultural center, remains the most important center of Tatar culture. It lies at the confluence of the İdel, Volga; and Qazansu, Kazanka rivers in central European Russia.

Languages Tatar, Russian
Mayor Kamil Ísxaqov
Area 425.2 km²
Population 1,154,000
Founded by Volga Bulgarians
~ 1005
Time zone UTC +3
City Day 30 August
Calling Code 7 8432
Religion Sunni Islam,
Russian Orthodox Church,

Table of contents
1 Name
2 History
3 Historical population
4 Kazan's Downtown
5 The University
6 Useful languages
7 City ethnic communities
8 Transport
9 Culture
10 See also


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


Kazan was founded in the 10th century AD by Volga Bulgarians. It was a block-post on the border between Volga Bulgaria and Finnish tribes (Mari,Udmurt).

In 11st–12nd century Kazan shielded a Volga trade way from Scandinavia to Iran. It was a trade center, the main city for Bulgar settlers in Kazan region.

In 13th re-settlers came to Kazan from Bolğar; and Bilär, which was ruined by Mongols. Kazan became a center of duchy, which depends on Golden Horde.

After destoying of Golden Horde it became the capital of a powerful Khanate of Kazan(1438). City bazaar Taş Ayaq (Stone Leg) became the most important trade center in the region, especially in furniture trade. Citadel and Bolaq channel was reconstructed, so city had strong defensive capacity.

In 1552 the city was forcibly annexed by Russia under Ivan Grozny (Ivan the Terrible). After attack the most part of Tatar population was killed, repressed or forcibly christianizated. Mosques and palaces was ruined. Citadel was settled by Russian soldiers.

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

It was largely destroyed in 1774 due to a revolt by border patrol troops and peasants under the leadership of Don Cossack ataman (captain) Yemelyan Pugachev, but was rebuilt soon afterwards, during the reign of Catherine the Great. Also by Catherine's decree mosques had been build in Kazan again. But Tatar's discrimination continued.

In the end of 19th century Kazan became an industrial center of Middle Volga. Neighboring villages population came to city, looking for work. In 1875 horse railway, in 1899 tramway had appeared.

After Russian Revolution in 1905 Tatars got rights to revide Kazan as Tatar cultural center. The first Tatar theater, the first Tatar gazette had appeared.

In 1918 Kazan was a capital of bougeois Idel-Ural State, which was supressed by Bolshevist government and Russian bourgeois chauvinists. Contrrevolutional Bolaq artee Republic also was located in Kazan.

In 1919 (after October Revolution) Kazan became a center of Tatar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1920s-30s most of mosques and churches was ruined.

During the World War II a lot of plants and factories was evacuated to Kazan. Kazan produced tanks and planes that time. Then city became a center of military industry.

In 1990s, after the USSR falling Kazan became the center of Tatar culture again, separatist tendencies intensified.

In 2000s city's total renovation had began. A metro system is being constructed.

Kazan is going to celbrate its millennium in 2005.

Historical population

Kazan's Downtown

The city has a beautiful citadel (Russian:
kreml, or, sometimes, Tatar: kirmän) as well as an Old City dating back to the 15th century. There are a Qol-Şärif mosque, which is rebuilding in the citadel now, and Söyembikä falling tower, Kazan' the oldest building. Also interesting are Governor's Palace (19th), now Tatarstan President's Palace.

Next door, Petropavlovski Cathedral, on Qawi Näcmi street and Marcäni mosque on Qayum Nasíri street date back to 18th century.

The main Downtown streets are Bauman, Kreml, Dzerjinski, Tuqay, Puşkin, Butlerov, Gorkiy, Karl Marx and Märcani.

Kazan' Downtown is separated by Bolaq channel and the Qaban lake into 2 parts. The first, historically Russian, is situated on the hill, the second, historically Tatar, is situated between Bolaq and Volga. Mosques, such as Nurullah, Soltan, Apanay, Äcem, Märcani, İske Taş, Zäñgär are only in Tatar part. Churches, such as Blagoveschenskaya, Varvarinskaya, Nikol'skaya, Tikhvinskaya, are mostly in Russian part.

The old legend says, that in 1552, before Russian invasion, all Tatar bays (bay = rich) hided a lots of gold and silver in the Qaban lake.

The University

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

Useful languages

Russian and Tatar languages are widely spoken in the city. Practically, Russian is understandable by all population, exclude Tatar's old generation. Tatar is widely spoken only by Tatars.

There are no enough English speakers in the city, but youth mostly understand English well.

The Latin alphabet is used in Tatar guides, so in this article all names are used in Tatar Latin. As for pronouncing, Russian don't understand Tatars names and Russian naming is more useful in the city.

City ethnic communities

Tatars and Russians

City's most population is Tatars (41–43%) and Russians (50–51%, includes nomber of Tatar-Russians speaking Russian). There are most mixable nations in Kazan: nearly 1/3 of all marriages in city are between Tatars and Russians. So, posterity of those marriages are people, which often have got names, surnames, religion and appearance so different, that is impossible to define their nation. It's quite normal to have Russian name and surname, to speak ideal Russian and speak Tatar very bad, but be a Moslem and mean themselves a Tatar. Native Tatars are also bilingual in Kazan.

For Tatar, which don't speak native language also uses offensive term Mañqort.

The most of official posts are occupied by Tatars, other – by Russians and some minorities which lived in city before 1990s. Today Tatarstan government urgent is representing of all communities in the rule.

Other communities

Native Tatarstanlı

Native Tatastanlı nationalities mix with Tatars and Russians.

Native Middle-Volgans
Cities third ethnos is Chuvash (1.2%). Chuvashs speak their own language, same with Tatar. They also understand and speak Tatar. Chuvashs are Russian Orthodox with some pre-Christian elements in their religion. Other native for Middle Volga nation are Maris (0.3%), Udmurts (0.1%), Mordvas (0.2%) and Bashkirs (0.2%). Some of them speak Tatar, some Russian, other - their own languages. Bashkirs are Moslems, other – like Chuvashs – are Russian Orthodox with some pre-Christian elements in their religion.

Some Mari came to Kazan for season work: ideal workers by wood, they build summer houses and saunas for citizens. Chuvashs and Mari came to city every day from their republics and sell potatoes and mushrooms at bazaars.

Ethnic Germans
Ethnic Germans came to Kasan since 18th century. They served in Russain Army and worked in Kazan State University. Some of them are very famous in Kazan, espetially professor . At the World War II some of them was repressed by Stalin's government.

Today Kazan Germans mostly speak Russian.

Came to Kazan in Soviet period
At World War II lot of Western USSR population was evacuated with schools, institutes and plants. Some of that population had never returned to their native lands. They are: Jews, Ukrainians, Byelorussian, Poles and other (nearly 2.5% of population). They speaks Russian, sometimes with Ukrainian accent, some Jews speaks Tatar.

Came to Kazan in 1990s

One of the biggest Kazan communities is Azeri community. Most of them are unregistrated and work illegal. Azeri tradesmen took all bazaars by their control. They often sell imitation clothes of famous trademarks or fruits. The number of Azeri is very big. Interestingly, that Azeri speak Russian and Tatar both well.

Other Caucasians are represented by some Dagestan, Georgians, Armenians and others. They often had their cafés or works in building area.

Another big community is Central Asian community, which includes Uzbeks, Tajik, Gypsies and Kyrgyz. Some of Uzbeks and Tajik have a cafés or fast-food cafés; sell dried apricots, popular around Kazan citizens, and, by some information, sometimes drugs from Afghanistan. Güli, one of Gypsy tribes, begs near mosques, at terminals in trams and trains. They give all alms (called sadaqa) to their barons, which made barons rich. They often work at drug traffic.

Other Central Asians, such as majority of Uzbeks and Tajik, Kyrgyz, Kazakhs work at constructing or in ruining of old buildings. There are some Afghanians and Turkmen in city. East Asians, such as Chinese, Koreans and Vietnamese are working in "sewing imitation of famous trademarks industry".

Other nationalities are represented by some foreign specialists, foreign companies' representatives, Kazan universities' African, Latin Americans and Asian students. Nearly 2000 Turkey specialists work at renovations. The most of those people lives in Kazan not legal, they often don’t understand Russian or tatr, never mix with them.


Kazan is served by an Kazan airport approximately 15 kilometres from the city centre.

Kazan is connected with Moscow, Ulyanovsk, Yoshkar-Ola and Yekaterinburg by railways and highways, there are highway connections to Samara, Orenburg, Ufa, Cheboksary, Yar Çallı, Älmät, Bögelmä and Çístay.

There are municipal tramways, trolleybuses and buses, also as a lots of private buses, called marshrutka. Metro system is under constructing. There are four bridges, connecting banks of Qazansu, and one bridge, connecting Kazan with another bank of Volga.


See also