Friday, 15 June 2012

Kazan in Photos

After my last, slightly self-indulgent, very text-heavy entry I have decided this time to use more pictures than words to describe the city of Kazan.

This is the building in which I'm living.
Again the building I'm living in, this time showing the entrances.
The street I'm living off is just off of this road.
For reasons I cannot imagine, there's a Lego store located just around
the corner from Nelly's building, in the middle of a residential area.
The Qolşärif Mosque, inside Kazan's kremlin, was built in 2005, with
funding from the Saudi and Emirati governments. The original
 was destroyed when Ivan the Terrible stormed the city in 1552.

Here's a gated community, which is home to Kazan's wealthy élite.
Apparently, the area used to be full of very old wooden houses, but
these were all demolished to build these luxury residences.
The skyline of "new Kazan" on the northern bank of the Kazanka River:
 when my host Nelly was younger, none of this existed.
A billboard advertising Rubin Kazan soccer team, in front of their stadium.
Kazan's parks don't quite compare to London's...
June 12th is Russia Day, a national holiday to commemorate Russia's declaration of sovereignty within
 the USSR in 1990. The holiday isn't especially popular, as evidenced by the turnout at Kazan's main celebration.
The festivities hardly compared to those across the UK for the Queen's diamond jubilee.
As a kind of climax to the event, a flag of balloons was released during the national anthem.
These creepy mannequins in traditional Tatar dress are all around the touristy parts of the city.
A "tree" where couples lock padlocks, before throwing the key into lake Kaban, to
 represent their unending love. A familiar concept to anyone who has visited Paris or Rome
We visited a bizarre, Disneyland-esque reconstruction of a traditional Tatar village within Kazan.
A much more authentic sample of Tatar culture was when we visited this
bazaar. Sadly I was rushed through it, and didn't get to explore fully.
A lot of the city is under construction, in preparation for the 2013 Universiade and the
2018 FIFA World Cup.
A view over lake Kaban.
While walking near lake Kaban, I spotted a cluster of beautiful old buildings from afar, and had to get a closer look.
The well-preserved, brightly-coloured specimen on the left provides a striking
 contrast with the drab monotony of much of the architecture in Kazan
This run-down and clearly very old house is nonetheless still inhabited.
This massive palace is in fact a children's theatre.
A vandalized monument that I happened upon in a park.
Gridlocked traffic at rush hour.

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