Friday, September 25, 2015

Kazan (Казань) 2

From 2015-09 Beijing-to-Minsk
We spent another day walking around Kazan, concentrating on another part of town. We found lots of incredible European architecture, often dating to Tsar Nicholas just before World War I. I don't want to bury you in pictures, but clicking this picture should take you to the right part of my photo site. (Continue to the right to see more.)

Due to unfortunate timing, it took us three tries to get inside of the mosque. Meanwhile, we walked eastward from the Kremlin and along the riverside. We stopped to look at a church we saw on our map and noticed another building behind it, apparently some sort of a trade union, in stunning Art Nouveau architecture. Of course we had to go see it. And once we finished admiring that, we noticed some amazing apartment buildings up ahead, probably from the same era. By the time we got that far, we decided to continue along the riverside until the end of the riverwalk, below a music school and concert hall in the only ugly building we've seen in this otherwise delightful city.

On our way back, we found ourselves in a bake shop run by a monastery. The sales lady gave us several things to sample and we bought a few more. We enjoyed a leisurely break.

Finally, we arrived at the mosque when they were receiving visitors. We liked the inside almost as much as we liked the outside, and we especially enjoyed the little museum in the basement of the mosque. A historical computer simulation showed what the inside of the kremlin had looked like at various times over the centuries. We thought it looked a lot more interesting without the big square Soviet buildings occupying much of the space now. A lot of good stuff got cleared out to make way for those office buildings.

Now we're waiting to go and board our train for Nizhny Novgorod. More adventures await.

EDIT: For a fuller explanation of what's great about Kazan, see Carrie's post.

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