Let’s go to one of the most diverse and ancient cities in Russia
Welcome to weekly Matryoshka’s Diary. Do you remember that in 2019 Enjoy Russian School starts new COLORFUL RUSSIA project? We will have Russian courses in different places, Sochi and Baikal are already on the list (hurry up to get a discount). Today we go to Kazan, a city which celebrated its 1010 anniversary on 30 August 2015. Here are 5 facts that will make you want to visit the capital of Tatarstan. In May 2019 Kazan is going to be the next stop in our COLORFUL RUSSIA journey!
It’s even older than Moscow! 5 interesting facts about Kazan
- Kazan is not only one of the oldest cities in Russia, but in Eastern Europe as well. It’s about 150 years older than Moscow. Officially founded in 1005, and became part of the largest Mongol-Tatar empire in the world, the Golden Horde, in the 13th century.
Kazan is a melting pot of cultures and is the place to try Tatar cuisine. But if you had to try just one thing while in Kazan, it’d better be the most iconic dessert in Tatarstan, chak-chak. For the city’s 1000 anniversary in 2015, 20 people set out to make the biggest chak-chak on record, weighing 1,000 kilograms.
- Tatarstan has two official languages, Tatar and Russian, and both have equal status. Tatar was originally based on the Arabic script, until the early 20th century when it swapped over to a Latin-based alphabet. During the Soviet Union, Stalin forced Tatar to adopt Cyrillic and in 1991, Tatarstan won the right to revert back to using a Latin alphabet.
The most famous landmark of the city is Kazan Kremlin which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. With parts of the structure dating back to the 10th century, the Kremlin is a rare, not-to-be-missed sight in the city.
- Kazan metro is included in the Guinness Book as the shortest metro in the world. The way from one side to another is just 10 stations and will take you only 10-15 minutes. Kazan metro was the only metro in Russia that was built after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Kazan’s metro system was constructed in 2005, and announcements are made in Tatar, Russian and English. In line with Moscow’s metro, the interior design of the stations is hugely impressive.