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Definition: Kazan from Philip's Encyclopedia

Port on the River Volga, E European Russia; capital of the Tatarstan. Founded in the 13th century, Kazan became the capital of the Tatar khanate (1438). Conquered by Ivan IV, it served as the E outpost of Russian colonization. Industries: electrical equipment. Pop. (2005) 1,108,000.

Summary Article: Kazan
From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

City and port on the Volga, capital and economic centre of Tatarstan, in the western Russian Federation; population (2003 est) 1,113,600. Kazan is the centre of Tatarstan culture. It has large engineering plants (manufacturing ships, machine tools, compressors, and dental equipment), chemical works (producing explosives, synthetic rubber, soap, and photographic materials), shipyards, and a large leather and fur industry. It is also a major transportation centre, with its river port, airport, and location at a major railway junction.

History Kazan was founded by Tatars in the late 14th century, 45 km/28 mi northeast of its present site; it was capital of the independent Kazan Khanate (part of the Golden Horde) from 1445, and was conquered by Ivan (IV) the Terrible in 1552. It became capital of the Volga region in 1708, and was seized and burnt in the Pugachev rebellion of 1774.

Features Kazan is noted for its educational institutions; the university, which was founded in 1804, numbers among it graduates Leo Tolstoy and Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, and among its teachers the mathematician Nikolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky. It is also home to a branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (1945). A theatre has existed here since the 18th century, and many buildings dating from the 16th–19th centuries may be seen in the city. Kazan was the birthplace, in 1873, of the renowned bass-baritone Feodor Shalyapin.

The city was the original home of the ‘Black Virgin of Kazan’, an icon so called because it was blackened with age, was removed to Moscow (1612–1917), where the great Kazan Cathedral was built to house it 1631; it is now in the USA. Among miracles attributed to its presence were the defeat of Poland in 1612 and of Napoleon at Moscow in 1812.

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