Kazan is the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan, one of the largest and most beautiful cities of Russia, which is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage cities.
The old Kazan is the center of the city. There are beautiful buildings raised in different architectural styles. Mansions in the style of modernism coexist with the Baroque monuments. You can feel the aura of antiquity spell from ancient white walls of the Kazan Kremlin wherefrom a superb view on the river opens. Imagination is boggled by the red bell tower of Bogoyavlenskaya church at the pedestrian Bauman street beloved by tourists.
Kazan easily combines the culture and traditions of the East and the West: next to the finely cut minaret towers there are old Orthodox churches.
A prevailing feature of life in the city is peaceful, creative coexistence of different religions and nationalities.
In 2005 Kazan celebrated its millennium jubilee. Despite of such venerable age, the city is growing and dynamically developing in all respects. Contemporary changes in the outside appearance of Kazan are contributed by the architects with worldwide known names. The immediate plans provide for: erection of a new high-tech style national library of the Republic of Tatarstan building at Tukaya Square designed by the renowned Dutch architect Erick van Egeraata; reconstruction and expansion of the Kazan Zoo proposed by the design Institute "Atkins" (Great Britain); reconstruction of Staro-tatarskaya Sloboda developed by Hose-Antoni Acebillo, the chief architect of Barcelona.
Kazan is a major transportation center. There are a railway and bus stations, a river port and an international airport. Much attention is paid to the roads. A number of major transport interchange junctions have been completed in Kazan as well as construction of the new "Millenium" bridge has been completed. Renewal of roads is performed with application of up-to-date technologies and foreign-made equipment with Tatarstan being the first of all Russian regions to acquire such technologies and equipment. Transportation pattern reform was carried out in Kazan in 2007, which allowed making the urban public transport convenient for people effectively merging the ground transportation and subways into a single system. In the near future the plans provide for introducing the passage payment system based on application of contactless plastic smart cards.
Kazan is an attractive location for foreign investors. Currently there are more than a hundred enterprises with foreign investments registered in the city, as well as 150 representative offices of foreign firms. Major international conferences, including the annual assembly of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Congress of World Heritage Cities organizations are arranged in Kazan on a continuous basis.
There are many modern trade complexes in the city representing the major Russian and foreign networks, such as "IKEA", "METRO", "OBI", "Bahetle", "Patterson", "Perekrestok", "Eldorado", and many others.
Kazan is a large industrial and commercial center of Russia. Planes and helicopters manufactured in the capital of Tatarstan as well as chemical and petrochemical products produced by gigantic industrial works located in Kazan are well known all around the world.
Kazan is a significant educational and cultural center of Russia. There are about 40 universities operating in the city. Among them there is the Kazan State University founded in 1804 with the faculty composed of and including the world renowned scientist.
There are lots of museums, libraries, concert halls, theaters in this city. Two renowned international festivals: the opera festival named after F.I. Shalyapin and the classical ballet festival named after R. Nuriev have been regularly held for a period of many years in the Opera and Ballet Theater named after M. Jalil. Apart from the local museum there is "Ermitazh-Kazan" Center located in Kazan, which is the only branch of the famous museum in Russia.
There are a lot of movie theatres, entertainment centers and nightclubs of the European level in Kazan. A new aqua park "Riviera" covering the area of 1.5 thousand square meters has been opened in Kazan recently.
One of the important areas of life in the city belongs to sports. Ice hockey Club "Ak Bars", soccer "Rubin", basketball club "Unix", volley ball club "Dinamo-TTG" and others commendably represent Kazan at the championships of Russia, Europe and the world. In recent years the following major sports facilities have been built in Kazan: Basket-hall, Ice Sports Palace "Tatneft Arena ", horse race track, Russian ice hockey stadium. The Central Stadium has been renovated. Water Sports Palace construction will be completed shortly. The world-class sports events are held in the city. Kazan is on the list of nominees for the XXVII World Student Games.