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Historic and Architectural Complex of the Kazan Kremlin
Site number:
Type of site: Cultural
Date: 10-16th century
Date of Inscription: 2000
Location: Eurasia, Russian Federation, Republic of Tatarstan, City of Kazan
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Description: The Kazan Kremlin was built on an ancient site in the Muslim period of the Golden Horde and the Kazan Khanate. Ivan the Terrible occupied the site in 1552 whence it became the Christian See of the Volga Land. Russia’s only surviving Tatar fortress and a central pilgrimage site, the Kazan Kremlin is made up of an exceptional collection of 16th-19th century historic buildings that incorporate remains of earlier 10th-16th century structures. --WHMNet paraphrase from the description at WHC Site, where additional information is available.
  The Kazan Kremlin (Russian: Казанский Кремль; Tatar Cyrillic: Казан кирмәне, Latin: Qazan kirmäne) is the chief historic citadel of Tatarstan, situated in the city of Kazan. It was built on behest of Ivan the Terrible on the ruins of the former castle of Kazan khans. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 2000. The Kazan Kremlin includes many old buildings, the oldest of which is the Annunciation Cathedral (1554-62), the only 16th-century Russian church to have six piers and five apses. Like many of Kazan's buildings of the period, it is constructed of local pale sandstone rather than of brick. The architect is sometimes said to have been the half-legendary Postnik Yakovlev, but this is purely speculative. The cathedral bell tower was erected in five tiers at the urging of Ivan the Terrible and was scored to resemble the Ivan the Great Belltower in Moscow, but was pulled down by the Soviets in 1930. The most conspicuous landmark of the Kazan Kremlin is the leaning Söyembikä Tower, which probably goes back to the reign of Peter the Great. A well-known legend connects the tower with the last queen of Kazan. Another recognizable architectural feature is the Spasskaya Tower, which anchors the southern end of the Kremlin and serves as the main entrance to the Kremlin. The Spasskaya Tower is named after the Spassky Monastery, which used to be located nearby. Among the monastery's buildings were the Church of St. Nicholas (1560s, four piers) and the Cathedral of the Saviour's Transfiguration (1590s, six piers). They were destroyed by the Communists during Stalin's rule. Also of interest are snow-white towers and walls, erected in the 16th and 17th centuries but later renovated; the Qol-Şärif mosque, recently rebuilt inside the citadel; and the Governor's House (1843-53), designed by Konstantin Thon, now the Palace of the President of Tatarstan. The Palace is believed to be located on the site of former Khan's palace. Tucked between Presidential Palace and Söyembikä Tower is the palace church built on the foundation of medieval mosque. Northern wall of the Kremlin contains another gated tower - Secret Tower, so named because it used to house a secret water supply well. This tower allows pedestrian access to Kremlin, but vehicle access is restricted to emergencies only. --Wikipedia. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
Reference: 1. UNESCO World Heritage Center, Site Page.
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