An extract on #kazan
In April 2009, the Russian Patent Office granted Kazan the right to brand itself as the "Third Capital" of Russia. In 2009 it was chosen as the "Sports capital of Russia" and it still is referred to as such. The city hosted the 2013 Summer Universiade, 2014 World Fencing Championships, the 2015 World Aquatics Championships, and is one of the host cities for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
In 2015, Kazan was visited by 2.1 million tourists, which is a 20% increase in comparison with 2014. The Kazan Kremlin was visited by 1.5 million tourists in 2015 and hotel and entertainment complex with aquapark called "Kazan Riviera" was visited by 1 million tourists.
The origin of the name Kazan is uncertain. The most accepted legends derive it from the Bulgar (and also modern Tatar) word qazan, which means 'boiler' or 'cauldron'. One legend claims that the city was named after the river Kazanka, which was named after the son of a Bulgar governor dropped a copper cauldron into it. Other local legends, including research by the Tatar scholar Shigabetdin Marjani, claim that the city was named for the resemblance of the hill on which it sits to an upturned cauldron.
There is a long-running dispute as to whether Kazan was founded by the Volga Bulgars in the early Middle Ages or by the Tatars of the Golden Horde in the mid-15th century, as written records before the latter period are sparse. Iske Qazan may have been a Bulgar city on the site; estimates of the date of its foundation range from the early 11th century to the late 13th century. It was a border post between Volga Bulgaria and two Finnic tribes, the Mari and the Udmurt. Another vexatious question is where the citadel was built originally. Archaeological explorations have produced evidence of urban settlement in three parts of the modern city: in the Kremlin; in Bibalta at the site of the modern Zilantaw monastery; and near the Qaban lake. The oldest of these seems to be the Kremlin.
If Kazan existed in the 11th and 12th centuries, it could have been a stop on a Volga trade route from Scandinavia to Baghdad. It was a trade center, and possibly a major city for Bulgar settlers in the Kazan region, although their capital was further south at the city of Bolar.
After the Mongols devastated the Bolar and Bilr areas in the 13th century, either the surviving Bulgars recuperated in numbers and were assimilated by a small number of Kipchaks from whom they adopted their language (a position known as Bulgarism), or Kipchaks and Bulgars intermixed to create the modern Kazan Tatar population. Kazan became a center of a duchy which was a dependency of the Golden Horde. Two centuries later, in the 1430s, Kipchak descendants of Genghis Khan, such as Ghiasetdin of Kazan, usurped power from its Bolghar dynasty.
Some Tatars also went to Lithuania, brought by Vytautas the Great.
In 1438, after the destruction of the Golden Horde, Kazan became the capital of the powerful Khanate of Kazan. The city bazaar, Ta Ayaq (Stone Leg) became the most important trade center in the region, especially for furniture. Craft-based manufacturing also thrived, as the city gained a reputation for its leather and gold goods, as well as for the opulence of its palaces and mosques. The citadel and Bolaq channel were reconstructed, giving the city a strong defensive capacity. The Russians managed to occupy the city briefly several times.
Kazan Khanate was making constant plundering raids on Russia. Slavery in Kazan Khanate was legal. The number of slaves was up to 10% of the population. Most of the slaves were Russian people who were captured during raids. All captured men were forced to convert to Islam, otherwise they could be killed or sold into slavery to other Muslim countries.