(KZN.RU, May 29, Alina Berezhnaya). Free tours to historical places of Kazan are continuing in the city. The action is held monthly in the framework of a project organized by the official city public. On the eve, followers of the official accounts of the Kazan City Hall in social networks went on a walking tour to the Staro-Tatarskaya Sloboda. They learned that after the revolution, the al-Mardzhani mosque was the only existing mosque in Kazan in Soviet times, and other interesting facts.
Acquaintance with the history of the Staro-Tatarskaya Sloboda began with the embankment of Kaban Lake near the sculptural composition “Mysteries of Shurale”. The guide Lilia Kalimullina reminded Kazan citizens of the plot of the fabulous poem “Shurale” by Gabdulla Tukay.
“Kazan has many unsolved mysteries and legends passing from generation to generation. Some of the most popular is associated with the mysterious Kaban Lake”, Lily Kalimullina continued the tour, inviting Kazan citizens to come closer to the lake. According to one version, the name of the reservoir comes from wild boars, which lived on the shores of the lake until the XIX century. According to another version, the lake is named after Prince Kabanbek, who dived into the water fleeing from the Central Asian conqueror Tamerlane, and later remained to live on the lake.
“Kaban Lake and legends about treasures are known. According to legend, when the city was besieged by the army of Ivan the Terrible in 1552, the Kazan Khans threw their wealth into the water so that they would not get to the Russian Tsar. It is said that the jewels are still kept at the bottom of the lake. To believe it or not is a choice for everyone. But the romantic aura and fabulousness make the lake even more attractive for tourists”, explained L. Kalimullina.
Having walked along the embankment, the participants of the tour went to Shigabutdin Mardzhani Street. In the XVI century, it could rightly be called the “Kazan Rublyovka”. On the first line of the left bank of Kaban Lake, there lived merchants, enlighteners, writers, doctors, and professors, as well as heads of the most revered families of the Tatar community.
“Sloboda starts its history since 1552, when Ivan the Terrible, having conquered Kazan, gave an order to move all Tatars to the left bank of the lake. Territories gradually began to be built up with merchant houses, mosques. Residents have established the production of jewelry, hats, and household accessories. Over time, this part of the city became one of the richest and most attractive”, said L. Kalimullina.
One of the most prosperous inhabitants of the Sloboda was the merchant Khamit Sabitov, who was selling hats. The Sabitov manor has been preserved to our days thanks to the restoration work. The windows of women's bedrooms face the yard so that strangers would not see Tatar wives. Now the manor is one of the famous restaurants in Kazan.
“There are many secret passages and lanes in the Staro-Tatarskaya Sloboda. I will show you one of them now”, said the guide and led the group through the yard of the Sabitov manor. So, participants found themselves on Kayum Nasyri Street, where the Tatar scholar Shigabutdin Mardzhani, a public figure Burganutdin Mullin, a merchant Zigansh Usmanov, and other famous people lived.
The heart of K. Nasyri Street is the al-Mardzhani mosque, built by architect Vasily Kaftyrev. The appearance of the building combines national motives with the stylistic direction of time, as well as consistency and moderation, said Liliya Kalimullina.
The construction of the mosque was started thanks to Empress Catherine II. During her visit to Kazan, after a magnificent reception, she gave permission to erect stone buildings of mosques. “Even now, the Tatar people call the Russian Empress “Abi-Patsha”, which means “grandmother-queen”. Catherine II allowed the Tatar people to practice Islam freely and build mosques for joint prayers. This is how the first stone mosque appeared in Kazan”, explained L. Kalimullina.
Walking tour continued down the street Fatikh Karim. Kazan citizens noticed that each of painted, ornamented houses is unique in its architecture and color. The Tatars' houses are distinguished by a bright rich color range. Yellow, green, and white tones are dominated, and the carved frames on the windows are decorated with Tatar national ornament.
The house in the shape of the Russian letter “Г” at the intersection of F. Karim and G. Tukay streets attracted the attention of citizens. The building is milky white made in the Baroque style. “As you have already guessed, we went to the manor of the merchant millionaire Yunusov”, L. Kalimullina continued the tour.
The manor was built at the beginning of the XIX century. Later, Gubaidulla Yunusov, the owner of the house, sold it to the merchant Muhammadbadretdin Apanaev. After the acquisition, Apanaev reconstructed the building and opened offices there where free medical care was provided to the poor.
At the end of the tour, the most active subscriber received certificates for a free visit to the Chuck-Chuck Museum.
Each citizebs can plunge into the history of Kazan and temporarily go back to the past. For this, you must be a subscriber to the official accounts of the City Hall in the social networks VKontakte and Instagram and actively follow the information about the next free tours.