When you mention Russia, most people have of course heard of Moscow and St. Petersburg, and look a bit confused when you mention Kazan. Yes, there are more cities in Russia and no, they are not all small villages with a population of eight people and a cow … and located in the middle of Siberia. In this blog post I will tell you more about Kazan, where most of my other blog posts will be made from.
A city that connects east and west
Kazan is located 820 km. east of Moscow. It might sound like a lot, and some may think that it is in the middle of the country, but Russia is huge and the city is located at the Volga River before the Ural Mountains, which is said to be the natural border between Europe and Asia.
There are 1,2 million. people in Kazan, making the city the sixth largest city in Russia. However, the city is referred to as Russia’s third capital because of its industrial, commercial and cultural influence.
A cultural melting pot
Kazan is the capital of Tatarstan, one of the 22 Republics in Russia, established as an administrative area for non-Russian ethnicities. However, internal immigration has meant that the ethnic group, which has given its name to the Republic, does not necessarily constitute the majority of the Republic.
The composition of the population in the city today is about 49% Russians, mostly Russian Orthodox Christians and 48% Tatars, who are predominantly Sunni Muslims. (The remaining 3% is a mixture of Chuvash, Ukrainians and Azerbaijanans).
The city houses both churches and mosques. In the picture below you can see the Annunciation Cathedral on the left side with the golden spire in the middle and the Mosque Qolşärif on the right side.
Yes, summers do excist in Russia
Kazan has a continental climate. The coldest month is January with an average temperature of -13.5 ° C. Usually, there will be a thick layer of snow from November to February/March. The Volga river will freeze and winter sports activities are popular in areas outside the city.
The warmest month is July with an average temperature of 25.5 ° C, where you can swim in the Volga river and sunbathe.
Kazan is considered “Russia’s sports capital” and has hosted a number of world championships in various sports over the years. Kazan is also one of the host cities of the FIFA World Cup 2018.
The two biggest sports clubs are Rubin Kazan (Football) and Ak Bars Kazan (Ice Hockey).
That’s enough facts about Kazan for now. The upcoming blog posts will be much more personal. I promise;) But now you can say that you know THREE cities in Russia, next time you meet a Russian and can perhaps impress them a little with some of these facts.
Anyway, let’s go experience Kazan in the next blog post 😉