Kazan is the capital of the semi autonomous republic of Tatarstan in the Russian Federation.The Qolsarif Mosque is a relatively new addition to the Kremlin in the city. The mosque, one of the largest in Russia was completed in 2005 on the site of the original which was destroyed when Ivan the terrible conquered Kazan in the 16th century. It is named after Qol Sharif a religious leader, diplomat and poet who died defending Kazan from the Russian forces in 1552.
If you ask the average English speaking person to name a city where Asia meets Europe they will probably say Istanbul – if you mention Kazan the response is often, where? Standing on the banks of the Volga and astride the Kazanka rivers the thousand year old city of Kazan in Tatarstan was founded on the a junction of the northern silk road. Kazan is still a vibrant example of eastern and western cultures meeting and mixing in harmony; even the name means cooking pot or cauldron in the native Tatar language. Continue reading →