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Kazan, Russia

Magnificent Kazan, often referred to as the country's third capital, is Russia's religious treasure trove. It stands on the confluence of two rivers: the Volga and Kazanka, and has an incredible 1000-year-old history (Kazan celebrated it's millennium in 2005). It is a truly unique multi-ethnic city where people of different religions have lived together peacefully for centuries.

The city's main attraction is UNESCO listed World Heritage Site - the Kazan Kremlin, which is the chief historic citadel of Tatarstan. The complex encompasses many buildings, the oldest of them is the the important place of Orthodox worship - the Annunciation Cathedral. Completed in 1561 during the rein of Ivan the Terrible, it is the only 16th-century Russian church to have 6 piers and 5 apses.

An equally important sight in the Kremlin is the outstanding Kul Sharif Mosque - the largest Muslim place of worship in Europe. This 16-17th century architectural gem is home to a rich collection of ancient books. The newly restored building of the mosque, standing side by side with the Annunciation Cathedral, represents the tolerance and respect of the local people to different religions and beliefs.

Another jewel of Kazan worth seeing is the fairy-tale like colorful Temple of all Religions which is still under construction. Built and designed by Ildar Khanov, the temple's mixed architectural design contains elements taken from the traditions of practically all religions of the world including the Orthodox Christian church, Islamic mosque and Jewish synagogue.

Apart from religious landmarks the beautiful city of Kazan is also renown since recent for holding major international sports events and thus proudly carries the name of Russia's sports capital. It is a one-of-a-kind beauty which is definitely worth visiting when in Russia.

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Kazan, Russia

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Kazan, Russia

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