About the republicAbout the republicWelcome to the Republic of Tatarstan

Welcome to the Republic of Tatarstan

Welcome to the Republic of Tatarstan

Tatarstan is situated at the confluence of two large rivers – the Volga and the Kama, being a kind of bridge connecting Russia’s European and Asian parts.

Covering an area of 67,800 km2, the republic is bigger than such European countries as Belgium and the Netherlands and is approximately equal to Ireland.

Throughout many centuries, Tatars (53,2%) and Russians (39,7%), Chuvashes and Udmurts, Mordovians and Maris, Ukrainians and Bashkirs - altogether representatives of more than 173 ethnic origins – have lived in Tatarstan in peace and harmony. Today, its population is 3.8 million.

Tatarstan is a dynamically developing region, with its success being based on a solid foundation of economic stability. The republic is an oil production and petrochemical center; it makes KAMAZ heavy-duty trucks and Mi helicopters; it doesn’t forget about agriculture being one of Russia’s leaders.

As a meeting point of civilizations, a symbolic crossroads of eastern and western, Asian and European religious and cultural traditions, Tatarstan has accumulated extensive experience in maintaining inter-ethnic and inter-faith accord. This experience serves a perfect background for the republic to develop its contacts with the world, build trade, scientific and cultural links.

Tatarstan’s capital city of Kazan

The capital of the republic is the city of Kazan with a population of over 1.1 million. In 2005, it celebrated its 1000th anniversary. More than forty percent of its residents are young people for whom Tatarstan offers an outstanding opportunity to attend its forty universities, including Kazan University that celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2004 and received the status of a federal university in 2009, Kazan National Research Technical University and Kazan National Research Technological University.

Kazan is making an emphasis on developing infrastructure as it is going to host the 27th Summer Universiade in 2013, the FINA World Championships in 2015 and matches of the World Cup in 2018.

Tatarstan is a historical region

Standing on the crossroads of trade routes, Tatarstan has always played a role of a political, trade and economic center.

The pearl of the thousand-year-old city is the Kazan Kremlin that is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The town of Bolgar, the capital of the early feudal state of Volga Bulgaria, has long been the subject of legend. It is the place where the ancestors of Kazan Tatars adopted Islam and where Volga Bulgaria blossomed in the 13th-14th centuries.

In the picturesque mouth of the Sviyaga River lays the island of Sviyazhsk, a unique historical and architectural complex of the late16th-20th-centuries.

Following Kazan, the town of Yelabuga also celebrated its 1000th anniversary. The town, still full of unique merchants’ architecture dating back to the 19th century, has preserved its inimitable outline.


Among the republic’s famous cultural events are large international festivals such as the Feodor Chaliapin International Opera Festival, the Rudolf Nuriev International Classical Ballet Festival, the Europe-Asia Contemporary Music Festival, the Rashit Vagapov Tatar Song Festival. Each fall, Kazan hosts the Kazan International Muslim Film Festival. The Creation of the World Music Festival has been held here annually since 2008.

Tatarstan has more than a hundred museums attended by more than 1.7 million visitors a year.


Islam and Orthodox Christianity are traditional religions in Tatarstan, while Catholicism, Protestantism, Judaism and other faiths are also presented here.

Balance of interests of the two faiths and full equality before the law for all religions lay in the basis of inter-faith agreement in the republic.

Tatarstan is implementing a large-scale project to restore historical and cultural monuments and sacred places in the ancient town of Bolgar and the island town of Sviyazhsk.

The panorama of the Kazan Kremlin with the Kul Sharif Mosque and the Annunciation Cathedral standing surrounded by the fortress walls has become Tatarstan’s symbol recognizable all around the world.


The development of sports, both professional and mass, is a priority for the republic.

Various Tatarstan teams became champions of Russia, won the country’s cups and showed high results in international competitions. Kazan was named the sports capital of Russia, following the achievements of the football club Rubin-Kazan, the hockey club Ak Bars, the water polo men team Sintez, the volleyball club Zenit-Kazan, the bandy team Dinamo-Kazan and the basketball club UNICS.

At the Beijing Olympics Tatarstan presented twelve athletes, five of which won medals including three gold ones.

Photographs from http://www.kzn.ru, http://gokazan.ru, http://yanarysh.tatarstan.ru/, http://www.photokzn.ru and Andrew Shlykoff were used.


When you visit Tatarstan, do not forget:

  • To walk along the Kazan Kremlin and stop at the Annunciation Cathedral and the Kul Sharif Mosque
  • To taste Tatar national dishes including a triangular pasty ‘treugolnik’ stuffed with meat and potato, a kystybyi thin pie with mashed potato or millet porridge and a famous desert ‘chak-chak
  • To visit the ancient town of Bolgar, the island town of Sviyazhsk, the Raifa Monastery, Yelabuga
  • To take part in the Tatar National Festival Sabantui or the Russian Folk Festival Karavon and the Day of the Republic’s street festivities
  • To visit museums (Tatarstan National Museum, Hermitage-Kazan Center, Fine Arts Museum. National Gallery)
  • To see the Kazan icon of the Mother of God at the Elevation of the Cross Church and Kazan mosques built before the 1917 revolution
  • To attend a concert at the Salikh Saidashev Grand Concert Hall or the Tatar Philharmonic Hall or a performance at one of Kazan’s theatres
  • To buy a souvenir, i.e. a national embroidered cap
  • To take a boat trip on the River Volga and visit the Kazan water park
  • To learn several Tatar words, i.e. isenmesez – hello, rakhmat – thank you