1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Kazañ (town)

KAZAÑ (called by the Cheremisses Ozon), a town of eastern Russia, capital of the government of the same name, situated in 55° 48′ N. and 49° 06′ E., on the river Kazanka, 3 m. from the Volga, which however reaches the city when it overflows its banks every spring. Kazañ lies 650 m. E. from Moscow by rail and 253 m. E. of Nizhniy-Novgorod by the Volga. Pop. (1883), 140,726; (1900), 143,707, all Russians except for some 20,000 Tatars. The most striking feature of the city is the kreml or citadel, founded in 1437, which crowns a low hill on the N.W. Within its wall, capped with five towers, it contains several churches, amongst them the cathedral of the Annunciation, founded in 1562 by Gury, the first archbishop of Kazañ, Kazañ being an archiepiscopal see of the Orthodox Greek Church. Other buildings in the kreml are a magnificent monastery, built in 1556; an arsenal; the modern castle in which the governor resides; and the red brick Suyumbeka tower, 246 ft. high, which is an object of great veneration to the Tatars as the reputed burial-place of one of their saints. A little E. of the kreml is the Bogoroditski convent, built in 1579 for the reception of the Black Virgin of Kazañ, a miracle-working image transferred to Moscow in 1612, and in St Petersburg since 1710. Kazañ is the intellectual capital of eastern Russia, and an important seat of Oriental scholarship. Its university, founded in 1804, is attended by nearly 1000 students. Attached to it are an excellent library of 220,000 vols., an astronomical observatory, a botanical garden and various museums. The ecclesiastical academy, founded in 1846, contains the old library of the Solovetsk (Solovki) monastery, which is of importance for the history of Russian religious sects. The city is adorned with bronze statues of Tsar Alexander II., set up facing the kreml in 1895, and of the poet G. R. Derzhavin (1743–1816); also with a monument commemorating the capture of Kazañ by Ivan the Terrible. The central parts of the city consist principally of small one-storeyed houses, surrounded by gardens, and are inhabited chiefly by Russians, while some 20,000 Tatars dwell in the suburbs. Kazañ is, further, the intellectual centre of the Russian Mahommedans, who have here their more important schools and their printing-presses. Between the city and the Volga is the Admiralty suburb, where Peter the Great had his Caspian fleet built for his campaigns against Persia. The more important manufactures are leather goods, soap, wax candles, sacred images, cloth, cottons, spirits and bells. A considerable trade is carried on with eastern Russia, and with Turkestan and Persia. Previous to the 13th century, the present government of Kazañ formed part of the territory of the Bulgarians, the ruins of whose ancient capital, Bolgari or Bolgary, lie 60 m. S. of Kazañ. The city of Kazañ itself stood, down to the 13th century, 30 m. to the N.E., where traces of it can still be seen. In 1438 Ulugh Mahommed (or Ulu Makhmet), khan of the Golden Horde of the Mongols, founded, on the ruins of the Bulgarian state, the kingdom of Kazañ, which in its turn was destroyed by Ivan the Terrible of Russia in 1552 and its territory annexed to Russia. In 1774 the city was laid waste by the rebel Pugachev. It has suffered repeatedly from fires, especially in 1815 and 1825. The Kazañ Tatars, from having lived so long amongst Russians and Finnish tribes, have lost a good many of the characteristic features of their Tatar (Mongol) ancestry, and bear now the stamp of a distinct ethnographic type. They are found also in the neighbouring governments of Vyatka, Ufa, Orenburg, Samara, Saratov, Simbirsk, Tambov and Nizhniy-Novgorod. They are intelligent and enterprising, and are engaged principally in trade.

See Pineghin’s Kazañ Old and New (in Russian); Velyaminov-Zernov’s Kasimov Tsars (3 vols., St Petersburg, 1863–1866); Zarinsky’s Sketches of Old Kazañ (Kazañ, 1877); Trofimov’s Siege of Kazañ in 1552 (Kazañ, 1890); Firsov’s books on the history of the native population (Kazañ, 1864 and 1869); and Shpilevski, on the antiquities of the town and government, in Izvestia i Zapiski of the Kazañ University (1877). A bibliography of the Oriental books published in the city is printed in Bulletins of the St Petersburg Academy (1867). Compare also L. Leger’s “Kazañ et les tartares,” in Bibl. Univ. de Genève (1874). (P. A. K.; J. T. Be.)