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Excursion tour “The great Bolgars”

Route: Kazan – the Bolgars – Kazan
Visiting the Bolgar historical and architectural reserve. Earlier the capital of the powerful feudal state, the Bolgars became “North Mecca” for all the Muslims of Russia. Wonderful white-stone constructions, fortresses, mosques, mausoleums, minarets became an integral part of the Kama river landscape, which was highly estimated by Peter the Great in the beginning of XVIII century and became a reserve. The highway Kazan – the Bolgars (193 km) runs across the territory of the former Volga Bulgaria. The archeologists and historians have found a plenty of valuable effects that testify to the greatmess of the state. There is a museum of history, exhibition hall, souvenirs shop, cafe and a small hotel on the territory of the reserve.
Travellers information:

  • history of our region
  • excursion at the Bolgar historical and architectural reserve and seeing the ancient monuments
  • free time

The route’s length – 360 km
Duration: 10 hours

“The Virgin Monastery of Raifa”

The Raifa hermitage is 32 km from Kazan. While traveling there you will get to know about the origins of Orthodoxy in Middle Volga region, the monastery construction peculiarities and the monks’ way of life. In the convent you will be introduced to the history of the monastery, the word “Raifa”. You will visit the Cathedral and touch the icon of the Virgin of Georgia which will definitely leave a long-lasting impression on you. Majestic nature surrounding the monastery - pine-wood, the holy lake and holy well spring will allow you to deeper understand our spiritual origins.
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes

“The Blue Lake”

For several centuries already there has been a unique sulphurous unfreezing lake – the Blue Lake. – on the territory of Visokaya Gora forest ranger station. It is a meeting point of scientist Ivanov’s followers, natural scientists’, people who realize the importance of lake preservation and those who not without reason consider the lake to be charmlike. On the way to the lake you will hear about the ways of environmental protection in the Republic of Tatarstan and about environmental education of the young.
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes

“Sviyazhsk or Zöyä”

There’s a wonderful island in 25 km from Kazan, up the Volga river. Here in 1551 a wooden fortress was built by the Russian craftsmen which became the outpost of Ivan the Terrible’s army before the assault of Kazan. Notwithstanding the great destruction there remain unique religious buildings and structures which are monasteries today. It takes 2 hours to get to the island by the river, while traveling there you will be able to see old Russian villages steeped in divine nature.
Duration: 5 hours

Yelabuga

There’s a small cozy town on the right shore of the grand Kama river – Yelabuga. An old merchant orthodox centre of the region, earlier a fortress, the remnants of which are still on Şaytan qalası (The devil’s Tower). Yelabuga is known for its famous dwellers: painter Shishkin, whose museum is usually visited by the tourists; the grave of “the Russian Amazon”, The Cavalry Maiden Nadezhda Durova; poetess Marina Tsvetaeva spent her last days here. The excursion route runs across the highway Kazan ) N. Chelny – Kazan (215 km to Yelabuga).
Duration: 10 hours

Chistopol

A small patriarchal town on the Kama river is connected with the lives of outstanding people who were  evacuated here during the first days of the Great Patriotic War. Boris Pasternak’s museum exposition is rather interesting and versatile. The town itself impresses. There’s a pre-Mongolian capital of the Volga Bulgaria in 60 km to the south – town-fortress Bilyarsk. Here’s still a holy well spring at the foot of the miraculous hill Balyngus which draws thousands of pilgrims.
Duration: 10 hours

“Tuqay – Qırlay”

There’s an ancient Tatar village Qırlay 90 km to the north from Kazan, where the classic of Tatar poetry – Gabdulla Tuqay, spent his early years. The settlement has preserved its national architectural colouring with wooden huts, an old park and a pond, on the shore of which is the main object of the tour – the poet’s Literary museum. The way to the settlement lies along Kazanka bed past such Tatar villages as Shapshi, Cepchugi, Arsk. The guide tells the tourists about the lives and traditions of Tatar people, their trades and wonderful Tuqay’s poems which became the heritage of the Tatar people.
Duration: 6 hours


 

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