The heart of Tatarstan
Kazan Travel Blog› entry 11 of 13 › view all entries
Kazan, the capital of the Tatarstan Republic within the Russian Federation ... perhaps like Tibet within China, rather than an indpendent country like Kazakhstan.
Kazan which is outside Siberia, and is quite different from Irkutsk and Ekaterinburg ... i has a different ethnic mix and we haven't seen anyone drinking on the street in the socially-acceptable manner.
Kazan and the republic of Tatarstan is about 60% non-Russian. But being about 40% Russian it doesn't look like it will get independence. They seem to be proud of their somewhat autonomous status ... the Republic flag is every where and McDonald's even puts the Republic colours into their "restaurant" signage!
The majority are Turk-Mongol Muslim people who are descended from Chinggis Khan ... it does appear than many people are somewhat mixed in ethnicity just by looking at the mix of features in one face at times.
Kazan has a famous Kremlin (fortress) which contains the Presidential Palace, a church and mosque. There are many other nice churches and mosques but many are currently scaffolded for restoration. The city was founded in 1005 and is celebrating its millennium this year.