After archaeologists found a thousand-year-old coin in 1997 in the Kazan Kremlin, large-scale preparations for the anniversary of the capital of Tatarstan began. Huge federal funds were used to “preserve and develop the historical part of the city,” but the actual construction has become, to put it mildly, more controversial. The city, which had excellent examples of wooden architecture, several Tatar settlements, unique buildings of the 19th century, has lost most of its monuments, and many of the rest, including the Kazan hotel, are in disrepair. In their place, new buildings arose, including St. Petersburg Street, built by the northern capital, and Moskovskaya Street, which is still unfinished. Although it must be admitted that, on the other hand, five or ten years ago Kazan was filled with slums and was in dire need of modern construction.
Undoubtedly, the most controversial and at the same time symbolic and declarative building of these recent years is the Kul Sharif mosque, built in the Kremlin, the ensemble of which has been included in the list of UNESCO monuments since 2000 (there are only a little more than twenty such objects in Russia). The gigantic silhouette of the mosque literally suppressed the ancient Kremlin buildings, most of which date back to the 16th century, the new mosque completely changed the protected ensemble. Its ideological and political significance is quite obvious: before the conquest of Kazan by Ivan the Terrible, on the site of the Kremlin there was a legendary multi-ministerial mosque, which the Moscow Tsar, having taken the city, burned. Therefore, the construction of today's mosque is viewed by its creators as a restoration of justice. There is only one snag: the Kremlin ensemble is a genuine monument of the 16th-17th centuries, of that history that cannot be erased, and the new mosque is a monument to today's ambitions. Its appearance is somewhat akin to the Palace of Congresses of the Moscow Kremlin.
The central square of the city, created on the basis of the Stalinist neoclassicism in the Soviet era - pl. Freedom. The building of the nobility assembly located on it, a monument of federal significance, was restored beyond recognition by the millennium - a new roof, a new layout, new decor, new floors appeared - now the building has turned into a town hall.
Behind Svoboda Square and the Kazan cultural center, almost in the center of the city, there is a settlement of Neftyanikov (built with the money of oil workers from the city of Almetyevsk), made in an accelerated time frame, designed to accommodate guests who arrived for the anniversary. If you look closely, the village consists of two types of houses, located randomly and very close to each other - so it is not possible to live in them.
However, there are definitely positive aspects in the construction boom - after the demolition of dilapidated dilapidated housing, more than 40 thousand families were relocated to new houses. Especially for the millennium of Kazan, the Millennium Park was laid out on the city wasteland. It was built in record time, the last trees were planted on the day of the anniversary. A new environment was created around the park - residential buildings, the Baskethall sports center.
A separate topic in the new architecture of Kazan is occupied by the St. Petersburg trend. pedestrian St. Petersburg Street embodies the theme of a river-street: bridges are thrown across it, small architectural forms repeat those of St. Petersburg, and at the end of the street there is a building resembling the dome of St. Isaac's Cathedral.
However, few high-quality modern architecture appeared in Kazan. Among the few buildings, the Pyramid shopping and entertainment complex, made in the form of a fully glazed pyramid, the Korston business center and the Bereg residential complex, consisting of several houses along the river, the main facade of which opens from the Volga, stand out.
The pride of Kazan residents is the metro, which opened a year ago, which so far consists of five stations and is located mainly in the center. The very idea of the metro is that it should symbolize the mythical Kremlin dungeons of the times of the Tatar Khanate, therefore, unlike the Moscow metro, where light is supplied from above in order to show the connection with the surface, the feeling of the underground is accentuated here, which is emphasized by the light coming from below.