Historic and Architectural Complex of the Kazan Kremlin
Historic And Architectural Complex Of The Kazan Kremlin
Cultural Russian Federation Europe And North America City Of Kazan, Republic Of Tatarstan

The complex of the Kazan Kremlin and its key monuments represents exceptional testimony of historical continuity and cultural diversity over a long period, resulting in an important interchange of values generated by the different cultures. It is exceptional testimony of the khanate and is the only surviving Tatar fortress with traces of the original town-planning conception. It is, furthermore, an outstanding example of a synthesis of Tatar and Russian influences in architecture, integrating different cultures (Bulgar, Golden Horde, Tatar, Italian and Russian), as well as showing the impact of Islam and Christianity.

Kremlin Hill was a fortified trading settlement surrounded by moats, embankments, and a stockade. A stone fortress was built in the 12th century and the town developed as an outpost on the northern border of Volga Bulgaria. It was demolished by the Mongols and a citadel was built as the seat of the Prince of Kazan. By the 15th century, the town had become the capital of the Muslim Principality of Bulgaria, with administrative, military, and trading functions. The inner space of the Kremlin is a medieval fortress containing buildings dating from the 16th-19th centuries

The fortifications, in stone and brick, were built in stages. In 1556-62 the masters of Pskov, headed by Postnik Yakovlev and Ivan Shiryai, generally replicated the earlier Tatar fortifications. There were originally 13 fortress towers, but some were pulled down in the 19th century.

The Governor's Palace complex, on the site of the Kazan Khan's palace, was built in 1845-48 to the design of the architect of the Church of Christ the Saviour and the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow. It comprises the brick two-storey main block and a low semicircle of outhouses. The symmetrical facade has motifs of late Russian Classicism, also found in the interior decoration. The 17th century Palace Church was refurbished and rededicated to the Descent of the Holy Spirit in 1852. Syuyumbeki's Tower is the architectural symbol of the city: its name goes back to a Tatar tsarina, wife of the last two khans of Kazan.

The Annunciation Cathedral complex evolved from the 16th century as the centre of the Orthodox Church administration. The cathedral is the largest construction of the Kremlin, built in 1561-62 as a five-dome, six-pillar, three-apse church with two chapels connected by a porch. In the 1930s the bell tower, the west porch and the domes were pulled down. The Bishop's House was built in 1829.

The Public Offices complex, including the three-storey Guard House, is situated in the south-eastern part of the Kremlin and has evolved historically as an administrative centre. The facades were rebuilt in the 1840s. The facades have sparse ornamentation, large windows, and a low-pitched roof. Comprehensive renovation work was carried out in 1998.

The Saviour-Transfiguration Monastery complex is situated next to the Spasskaya Tower, and the construction started in 1557. It was the centre of missionary work and the burial grounds for prelates, respected citizens, and nobility of Kazan. The cathedral in the centre of the area was built in 1595-1601 and demolished in the 1920s. The church of St Nicholas the Thaumaturgist and its refectory was rebuilt in 1815. The ground floor is in white stone.

The Cadets' School complex, built in the 19th century on the site of a mosque and a monastery, consists of two schools and the former barracks. It was originally two storeys high but a third floor was added in the Soviet period. The Riding School was erected in the 1880s, with a suspended ceiling.

The Artillery Cannon Foundry was built on the site of a military depot and the building of the khan's guards. The main building was rebuilt to correspond with the new orientation of the Great Street, following the 1768 plan. The cannon works was one of the largest in Russia: it was constructed to the design of the engineer Bétancourt. From 1825 to 1837 the former arsenal and foundry were refurbished as a school.