Kazan. July 22, 2008 – day 4 and the last. Ad Fontes! or Trip to Raifa Monastery and departure.

Kazan Travel Blog

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On the way to Raifa Monastery

On my last day in the capital of Tatarstan I planned to visit a holy place • Raifa Virgin’s Monastery. Situated 35 km from Kazan, in the center of the part of the Volga-Kama state nature preserve, the monastery is one of the XVII century architectural pearls.

 

There is a bus number 404 from the Railway station (check the time-table on the Railway Station Square) going through Raifa. I boarded, paid my trip (about 40 Rubles, less than $2) and asked the conductor to let me know where I need to take off. The answer was classical Russian: “Where picturesque places are”. Well, I suppose every person has his or her own idea of what “picturesque” is but I prepared to be attentive not to miss it.

Belltower of Raifa Monastery
Thanks God my neighbour promised me to show me the right place for Raifa. As you understand, bus stops are not announced.

 

I must tell you than in some 30 minutes an ugly suburbian area turned into a real forest. I understood that I was close to my destination. I took off the bus and saw nothing but trees and a sign pointing out my way • some 100 meters to the monastery entrance.

 

As I was approaching the monastery I was fascinated by the view of the bell tower and suddenly felt something I know very well but what I didn’t see and feel for the last few days • as if I took a trip to Russia from abroad while staying in the same country. My first impression of the place remained after my visit • it is very Orthodox and Russian.

Raifa Monastery walls

 

The monastery is not big but very well kept, very clean and has many flowers. The architecture is traditional Russian and I would rather say “native” for me. I was visiting it on Tuesday and was lucky to have very few other people there so the atmosphere of peace and harmony totally charmed me. I visited Trinity Cathedral and Georgian Virgin’s Church (the holy icon of Our Lady of Georgia is kept there). I walked around the monastery and then went outside to enjoy a piece of nature. The monastery situated on a lake and it makes you feel you are somewhere far from the city and modern world • a rare feeling nowadays.   

 

After such a relieving trip I had to get back to Kazan • I had some time before my train and I just walked around the city center enjyoing once more the view of the Kremlin.

Saints killed at Sinai and Raifa´s Church
I felt a bit tired after these 4 days in Kazan but very satisfied with my trip: Kazan turned out to be a very interesting mixture of different cultures and religions, a real unique place. I think every traveller has experienced such a feeling at the end of a trip: happiness and sadness at the same time like saying ‘good-bye’ to someone you didn’t know before but then met and loved, and a feeling of accomplishment • you took actions to see new places, meet new people and experience new feelings. Every single trip is a coin in our money-box of life, and it is what really matters.

 

It was time for me to leave the city and I headed to the Railway Station • this time I asked the receptionist at the hotel to call taxi for me. On my way back I was lucky to have only one neighbor in a 4-seat compartment who turned out to be a piano player and a professor at the Moscow Conservatory going back to Moscow after a concert in Kazan. Victor and I spent the whole way chatting about everything • music, literature, art, life etc etc and I thought again and again that life is beautiful when we can travel, meet others and explore places and people and enjoy sharing things.

 

My birthday trip was over and it was the best birthday gift I could think of.

 

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On the way to Raifa Monastery
On the way to Raifa Monastery
Belltower of Raifa Monastery
Belltower of Raifa Monastery
Raifa Monastery walls
Raifa Monastery walls
Saints killed at Sinai and Raifa´…
Saints killed at Sinai and Raifa…
At Raifa Monastery
At Raifa Monastery
Monastery Cemetery and Saints kill…
Monastery Cemetery and Saints kil…
Saints killed at Sinai and Raifa´…
Saints killed at Sinai and Raifa…
Monastery Flowers
Monastery Flowers
Trinity Cathedral, Raifa
Trinity Cathedral, Raifa
Trinity Cathedral
Trinity Cathedral
In front of Trinity Cathedral
In front of Trinity Cathedral
At Raifa
At Raifa
Trinity Cathedral
Trinity Cathedral
Trinity Cathedral
Trinity Cathedral
Artificial pond at Raifa
Artificial pond at Raifa
Trinity Cathedral
Trinity Cathedral
Domes of Trinity Cathedral
Domes of Trinity Cathedral
Raifa Monastery
Raifa Monastery
Belltower, Raifa
Belltower, Raifa
Trinity Cathedral
Trinity Cathedral
Picturesque surrounding, Raifa
Picturesque surrounding, Raifa
Near Raifa Monsatery
Near Raifa Monsatery
Towers of Raifa
Towers of Raifa
Russian nature, Raifa
Russian nature, Raifa
Cat near Raifa Monastery
Cat near Raifa Monastery
South Tower, Raifa
South Tower, Raifa
South Tower and Monastery Wall, Ra…
South Tower and Monastery Wall, R…
On the pond at Raifa
On the pond at Raifa
Peace and harmony at Raifa
Peace and harmony at Raifa
Me at Raifa
Me at Raifa
Tree at Raifa
Tree at Raifa
Looking through a tree at Raifa
Looking through a tree at Raifa
Raifa Monastery
Raifa Monastery
Summer Flowers
Summer Flowers
Wild nature
Wild nature
At Raifa
At Raifa
Kazan Kremlin on my last day there
Kazan Kremlin on my last day there
Kazan Kremlin mirroring in the win…
Kazan Kremlin mirroring in the wi…
Kazan Kremlin and Kul-Sharif mosque
Kazan Kremlin and Kul-Sharif mosque
Kul-Sharif mosque
Kul-Sharif mosque
Bulak
Bulak
John the Baptists Monastery, Kazan
John the Baptist's Monastery, Kazan
John the Baptists Monastery mirro…
John the Baptist's Monastery mirr…
Kazan
photo by: alexchan