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Guide: Good morning. Welcome to Kazan! Today we will go about the town and see the most well known sights. Let’s start our excursion.

Kazan is the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan and a city of more than one million residents. It is situated on seven hills - just like Rome. It occupies an area on the left bank of the Volga River and on both banks of the Kazanka. It has its own Kremlin, Russia's third oldest university and a number of mosques. As one of Russia's oldest cities, Kazan celebrated its 1,000th anniversary in 2005.

Tourist:Who was it founded by?

Guide: It was founded by Bulgars. The first mention of Kazan dates back to the 11th century. Now we are in the historic heart of Kazan - in the Kremlin. The Kremlin is the former Tatar fortress. The Spassky tower and the famous falling Suyumbike tower are the architectural symbols of the city.

Tourist: Oh! It’s impressive. What are these?

Guide: Splendid, isn’t it? Orthodox cathedral stands next to the recently built mosque of Kul-Sharif. Tourists are usually impressed by the combination of Russian and Tatar cultures in the architectural appearance of the city.

Tourists: Can we climb up the Kremlin walls?

Guide: Certainly. Turn right and you’ll see the circus and the view of the Kazanka and the city's districts on the opposite bank.

Guide: We are walking along Kremlyovskaya Street. It connects two of Kazan's important sights in the city center The Kremlin and the Kazan State University. On the right is the National Museum. It is worth visiting to learn about the traditional Tatar way of life and history.

Here we are! The Kazan State University was founded in 1804. The library of the university is one of the richest and the most unique in the world. The University is the birthplace of organic chemistry, due to the contribution of Alexander Butlerov, Vladimir Markovnikov, Alexander Arbuzov and others. It is the alma mater of Nikolai Lobachevsky, the inventor of non-Euclidean geometry. In all there are 29 establishments of higher education in the city, alongside the Science Academy of Tatarstan, the Kazan Center of the RF Science Academy and a number of scientific and research institutes.

Take the first turning on the right and you will see that Universitetskaya Street goes down from the state university building to Gabdulla Tukay Square. This square is named after the Tatar poet and often referred to by locals as the ‘Koltso' (Ring).

Tourist: A real tourist attraction. So many people! Guide:The Ring is the midpoint of the modern city center and a popular hangout for local youths. The square hosts the Koltso shopping center, a few other modern buildings and a monument to revolutionary Vakhitov on a high hill. A pedestrian walkway Bauman Street, like Moscow's Arbat, starts on the Ring. There are many new shopping and office centers around this area.

Tourist:Souvenirs! What should we buy as a keepsake of the city?

Guide:Postcards, pictures and cups with views of Kazan. And don’t forget Tatar national sweets. They are worth buying!

Guide: We go straight ahead along Pushkin Street to the Opera and Ballet Theater named after M. Jalil. Being the centre of multi-national culture, Kazan holds the

International Festival of Opera Singing, named after Shalyapin and the International Festival of Ballet Dancing. The citizens and the guests have at their disposal six theatres, Philharmonic, a number of museums, among them is the Fine Arts museum, concert and exhibition halls.

This is the end of our excursion. Have you got any questions?

Tourist:I heard much about Moslem mosques. Where can I find them?

Guide: Most of the mosques are around the lake Kaban. It’s the area where the Tatars used to live before the revolution.

Tourist: Could you tell me how to get there?

Guide: Sure! Take any bus to Moskovskaja Street. There you’ll find the Asimov mosque, the most beautiful one in Kazan, and the Mardzhany mosque, the oldest of them. On the right bank of Kaban you will see the minaret of Zakabannaya mosque.

Tourist: Thank you very much!

Guide: You are welcome. Good luck!


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