- Travel planning
- Arrival in the city
- Fatima. More than economy class hotel
- Excursion number 1. Sviyazhsk + Raifsky monastery
- Island-city Sviyazhsk
- Excursion “Evening lights of Kazan”
- Kazan. Second day of the marathon. Great Bolgar
- The last day. City tour
When they say “Kazan”, for some reason the word “water park” pops up in my head. Indeed, the combination “Kazan water park” has become almost a household name. Just think about it! People go to another city just to splash in the pool, slide down a slippery pipe, falling on the head of another gape tourist. And then sit in a restaurant and head back in the evening.
Then you will ask this: “Did you go to the Kazan Kremlin?” Or “Have you looked at the ancient Bulgar or the Island-city of Sviyazhsk?” … The answer is an embarrassed “No. Where is it?”.
I decided to go to Kazan for exploration. For the three days allotted to me, it was planned to go around and see as many interesting places as possible in the third capital and its environs. That’s what I did:
- Raifa monastery
- Island-city Sviyazhsk
- Great Bolgar
- City tour
- late program “Night Lights of Kazan”
In addition, I managed to walk through the historical center, climb the high bell tower, ride the subway, watch the nightlife of local residents …
When I got on the return night train, I could not even believe that I had managed to do so much. I invite you to read the report. I will try to share not just dry information, but really useful advice.
It only happens in beautiful films: a free, reckless traveler spontaneously packs his backpack and comes to another city, where unforgettable adventures happen to him. He “comes off to the full”, leaves home full of pleasant impressions and exciting memories.
In life, alas, the opposite happens. If you arrive unprepared, then at first you will wander around the city for half a day, choosing a hotel, then when you arrive at the tourist center, it turns out that today all the excursions have already left, and tomorrow only the most uninteresting or terribly expensive are left. You will have to be content with a walking tour in the center of an unfamiliar city, without knowing which, you can only waste more problems than pleasant impressions. Ultimately, everything will come down to a banal hang-up in a bar with all the ensuing, not always pleasant consequences.
Therefore, forgive me for the lack of romanticism and the spirit of healthy adventurism, I calculated every step and booked everything I could in advance: return train tickets, a hotel room, and four excursions to the most interesting, in my opinion, sights of Kazan and surroundings. Now there is the Internet, with the help of which you can not only read about the city you are going to, but also book tickets for a train with excursions. When the hour came, X had only to catch the train and the pre-programmed successful journey began.
Arrival in the city
The train arrived in Kazan at 6.30 am. At the entrance, I tried to examine the landscape sweeping past the window and notice the differences between an unknown land and a familiar home. Actually, to be honest, I expected a little more. You just listen to anyone, everyone says that Kazan is some kind of special city, very beautiful, very convenient for life, very, very, very. And all with a plus sign. So I tried to discern this very plus. Well, if not a plus, then some difference from my city – Nizhny Novgorod. And you know what? I didn’t find anything special.
Now the train has already docked at the platform, now a crowd of sleepy passengers reached through the “sleeve” of the pedestrian crossing to the station square, and I kept going down and down from heaven to earth.
Here, too, there are cracks in the asphalt, potholes in the cobblestones, and not every house has numbers … But in general, no. Something is different and for the better. Fairly well-groomed streets, empty for the early hours. There is almost no rubbish on the pavements and sidewalks.
Here is some kind of rivulet. So. Now let’s see in the navigator. Aha! This is the Bulak channel! It connects Lake Big Boar with the Kazanka River. I saw them on the map!
I wonder how she managed to give such a straightforward look? On the occasion of the early hour, the fountains installed in the channel were turned off. As it turned out later, they not only work (moreover, all, and not through one), but also highlighted! It is really beautiful and unusual. By the way, this channel is a landmark in my walking route to the hotel. After crossing the bridge, you need to turn left and walk along the reservoir until the Kazan Kremlin appears on your right. The road is not that long. About half a kilometer. On the left, in the direction of travel, we see a pyramid. This is a seven-story entertainment complex. Of course, in size it is far from the pyramid of Cheops, and for some reason the Sphinx is absent, but the building clearly attracts attention. A sort of local landmark. Indeed, I have never seen such people in any city … An interesting solution.
The Kazan Kremlin is already appearing on the right . It stands on a hill, painted snow white. Probably, in winter, after a snowfall, it is lost against the background of the white adjacent territory. But now is not winter, but early autumn. The grass on the vast lawn around the ancient walls is still green. The area is suspiciously well-groomed. No paperwork, trampled plastic bottles and other attributes of urbanization.
And here is the first person with whom we managed to communicate. “We are not far from here. The truck broke down. We are waiting for the part to arrive. All the money has run out, won’t the respectable gentleman help out a hundred or two? ” That’s it. The tale of a beautiful miracle city, where everything is very, very, very cool, immediately disappeared. And she was broken by a hefty fellow begging for a hundred from passers-by. To plow on him, but he begs. I would not dare to write such words without a specific reason. Anything can happen. Suddenly, the person really got into trouble. But at the hotel I was advised to stay away from him and others like him. So, if you meet this citizen at the walls of the Kazan Kremlin, do not listen to his “Yaroslavna’s cry”. You will only waste time. And maybe money. The fairy tale about the wonderful city is over. They put the backpack on their back more comfortable and stomped into the hotel. It is called “Fatima”.
I chose it mainly for its good location. You can walk from the entrance to the Kremlin in just three minutes. And they asked for money there suspiciously little. Although … everything turned out to be very simple, it was enough to look at my “number”.
Fatima. More than economy class hotel
Once I get rich, I will order suites with a pool, peacocks and small waterfalls. For now, you have to be content with something more modest. Moreover, I arrived alone and, according to the old army habit, decided to make do with Spartan conditions. The location of the hotel was more important to me.
It is located directly across the street from the Kremlin. While I was crossing the road, there was a glimmer of hope inside that they would give me a room key right now – at seven in the morning. Then I would put all the heavy unnecessary things out of my backpack, rest a little and go on an excursion light. Alas, at the front desk I was informed that check-in is possible only after 14.00. However, noticing my distressed look, the receptionist offered to leave the backpack in her room. I gladly accepted this offer, because it would not be convenient to carry around on excursions with heavy luggage. While we’re on the subject of a hotel, let’s see what it is. Here is my number. As you can see, there is no bathroom in it. Just a room, bed, wardrobe, table, refrigerator and TV.
If there is a desire to wash, take a shower or something like that, then all these benefits of civilization are in the corridor and are common areas. On the one hand, it seems somehow not very convenient. On the other hand … but only 1200 rubles a day. And next to the Kremlin, the metro, the embankment … In a word, I decided that nothing bad should happen to me in a couple of days. As it turned out later, there really is nothing wrong with this whole situation. Any adult who does not suffer from star fever is quite capable of taking a few dozen steps along the corridor and using a shared washbasin or shower.
Another thing is too thin walls between rooms. They did not at all save from the noise from the neighbors. Everything that was happening around was perfectly audible. At first I wanted to be upset because of this, but on the first night I did not hear anything, as I slept like a death. On the second night, sleep was also sound. I hope you haven’t thought anything bad of me. It’s just that every day I had such an extensive program of excursions and independent walks that by the evening it was absolutely all the same what the neighbors were doing behind the wall 🙂
To end the hotel, I can say. That there are also decent rooms. I mean, with bathrooms in the room itself, and not on the floor. But their cost is already much more expensive. There is also a cafe where you can order breakfast, lunch and dinner. I didn’t use it myself, so I don’t presume to judge the advantages and disadvantages of local cuisine. True, the smells from there were very appetizing)
Excursion number 1. Sviyazhsk + Raifsky monastery
Before I had time to leave my backpack and breathe a sigh of relief, it was time to hurry up on the first excursion. According to the navigator’s indicators, it would take 25 minutes to walk from the Fatima hotel to the Tatarstan hotel, where the collection was announced. The most interesting thing is that it turned out about the same in transport. The thing is that you could walk along Bauman Street – Kazan Arbat, where there is no car traffic. And by metro bus … until you get to the stop or go down to the station, until the bus-train arrives, until then you leave and walk to the hotel … In short, a short walk along the half-empty Bauman street in the morning turned out to be a free supplement to the first trip.
Then something happened that usually happens at the beginning of any excursion. They called the roll call, led out of the hotel lobby and ordered a large white bus to wait. Then there was a classic hustle at boarding, where everyone strove to get in first and take the best seats … But, having burst into the bus, people fell into depression, because not everyone knew which seat could be considered good and which was not. As a result, they flopped on the first places they came across, by the way, not always successful.
With your permission, I would like to tell you which seats in the tourist bus are good. First, they must certainly not be on the sunny side. You don’t want to fry in the sun for three hours on the way, do you? Secondly, they must have a good view. You don’t want to look all the way at the vertical frame between the windows, which is right in front of your eyes. Finally, it is advisable that you sit without a neighbor. Otherwise, you will have to crowd, and I personally do not like this. I think you too. Therefore, if we are talking about an excursion from Kazan to Sviyazhsk with a call to the Raifsky monastery, which leaves at 8-9 am, then the best seats on the bus will be in the very back row on the right along the way. Just don’t tell me you can’t go in the back row. I will not try to persuade you. I will say more: do not sit there. These are my places. All five! I always keep them myself, getting on the bus last, when the traditional crush has already ended. Nobody ever takes these places, which means that on the way it is quite possible to rest lying down. Especially when you go back. Remember my words!
The bus left on schedule. Exactly at 10.45. On the way, we passed the Temple of All Religions. It turns out that there is no stop for inspection during the tour. Then I looked at the description again – for sure: not provided. Even the program says it. So, keep in mind and do not rage)
A little over an hour later, we arrived at the first point of our route. The Raifa Monastery is located among protected forests on the shores of a magnificent lake. The air here is very clean and thin, infused with needles. Residents of large cities immediately began to intensively ventilate their lungs. Some even lit a cigarette for completeness.
Here we witnessed chants. They sounded really beautiful and unusual. Despite the fact that I firmly decided not to buy any souvenirs, it was difficult to resist the temptation to become the owner of a disc with the quartet’s recordings. Became! 250 rubles is not that much money, but they sing really well. If you are at the monastery, do not forget to ask. Maybe you will like it too.
Then we walked past the pilgrim’s house – a hotel for those who decided to live for a few days near the monastery. Further, the path led us to the shore of the lake. If not for the crowd of tourists on the shore, the landscape here could be called magical and pacifying. But there was no time to enjoy the peace by the forest lake. A big program was waiting for us that day. Therefore, having made the duty pictures in the style of “teeth in the street”, we rushed on.
As for the pictures: in the morning against the background of the lake you have to take pictures against the sun. If you do not take special measures, then the faces will be very dark. The flash of the camera helps out. If you turn it on, then it will illuminate you against the background of a bright landscape. You won’t get the perfect photo anyway, but with a flash you will have the chance to at least see faces, rather than be content with dark silhouettes against the backdrop of the sun and glittering water.
The territory of the monastery is not very large. There are several churches inside. One of them contains a specially revered icon of the Georgian Mother of God. In general, to be completely honest, I personally find visiting the monastery as part of an excursion trip somewhat strange. You need to prepare for such trips in advance. And we got it like this: jumped out of the bus, quickly ran through the churches, “quickly” bowed to Orthodox shrines, took holy water from a spring, bought some souvenirs, took a selfie and drove on. It seems to me that all this is somehow wrong.
It is clear that for some tourists visiting monasteries is the purpose of the trip. But these, according to my observations, are very few. The majority of the people, having arrived at the monastery, suddenly wake up, remember that they are Orthodox believers, try to behave accordingly … Nothing good usually comes of it. False – it is false. Therefore, if you are going to visit the monastery, take your trip seriously. Dress appropriately and behave appropriately. Grab some cash for candles, so as not to wander around the territory with a plastic card. You can read special literature in advance, get acquainted with the site of the monastery, as strange as it may sound. Next stop is the Da Vinci restaurant. Here we were treated to a business lunch. Its cost was included in the price of the tour. It is very comfortable. I got a portion of positive impressions from spiritual food, and here, once, and the material is ready for you. For interest, I asked the restaurant staff how much such a meal would cost if I had stopped by myself, outside the group and without prior ordering. The answer was: 300 rubles. Basically, the lunch was worth it. The dishes are delicious, hearty, the atmosphere is cozy. The interior plays on the themes of inventions and works of art of the person in whose honor the restaurant was named. I especially liked the layout of the inventor’s plane hanging from the ceiling and the bottle cabinets illuminated by iridescent lights. hearty, cozy atmosphere. The interior plays on the themes of inventions and works of art of the person in whose honor the restaurant was named. I especially liked the layout of the inventor’s plane hanging from the ceiling and the bottle cabinets illuminated by iridescent lights. hearty, cozy atmosphere. The interior plays on the themes of inventions and works of art of the person in whose honor the restaurant was named. I especially liked the layout of the inventor’s plane hanging from the ceiling and the bottle cabinets illuminated by iridescent lights.
After a hearty dinner, many were worn out. Therefore, the road to the next and final point of the route – the City of Sviyazhsk, was spent by many in a half-forgotten state. I was especially lucky. That’s what it means to choose the right seats. True, it was not supposed to ride lying down, but it was quite possible to stretch my legs onto the adjacent seats and take a more comfortable position. So you shouldn’t ride in the last row of seats.
This is a very interesting and unusual place. The city was founded already in 1555 by Ivan the Terrible himself. While we were on the way, the guide told us some interesting facts about Sviyazhsk. For example: the city was built, as it were, from a construction set in just two weeks. Why from the constructor? It’s just that all the logs needed for log houses were prepared in advance in the Uglich forests. They built houses there. Then they marked all the logs, dismantled the buildings and floated down the Volga to their destination. In Sviyazhsk, houses were assembled again from ready-made logs in accordance with the marks. Another interesting point: a wooden church built in 1555 is still preserved in Sviyazhsk. According to some historical information, Ivan the Terrible himself entered it. Finally, Sviyazhsk was not always on the island. It was simply built on a certain elevation. But after raising the water of the Kuibyshev reservoir, he was cut off from the “mainland”. For many years, communication with the island was carried out only by water. Only relatively recently, in 2006-2008, a dam was erected, along which a road and a gas pipeline passed. Since then, Sviyazhsk has become an important tourist destination in Tatarstan.
All tourists arriving here are put to the test. They have to climb quite high stairs to get to the streets of the city. Buses do not enter the city. So, if you go yourself, you can practice in advance. The stairs are not very high. About the same as in the five-story building.
Having overcome the rise, you find yourself on the Assumption Square. It’s beautiful and somehow suspiciously clean here. The fortress walls of the monasteries are painted snow-white. It is because of the contrast of the white walls and the dark surrounding landscape that Sviyazhsk is visible from afar, long before you drive up to it by car or excursion bus. We were invited to the territory of the monastery closest to the entrance of the Mother of God-Assumption. But it was not possible to go inside the temples – restoration was going on everywhere. But we had enough time to wander around the wonderful city itself, to feel its special atmosphere.
Let’s start with the fact that ordinary people live here. Such as we are with you. In principle, there is nothing impossible in buying an apartment or a house here if you wish. This is on the one hand. On the other hand, I wonder what it is like to become a living exhibit of a tourist diva? It’s like working in a zoological museum as a stuffed animal or in a local history museum as junk. If you have a country house, then just imagine that every day crowds of tourists will pass by it, and the all-knowing guides will tell them how you live here. Moreover, in order to amaze tourists, they will be told such things about you that you cannot even imagine.
Against the background of your house, they will be photographed for memory, trying to take away part of the fence as a souvenir, and so on. I don’t even know if it’s good for life or not. But from a tourist’s point of view, there really is something to see here. The unusual attracts attention, but in Sviyazhsk the unusual is enough. There are very beautiful views here. Especially if you guess the weather. In addition to monasteries, many other ancient buildings have survived. Some of them have been converted into hotels. The local high school is located in one of the most beautiful buildings.
Walking along Uspenskaya Street, you find yourself in the center of the city – on Rozhdestvenskaya Square. The government of the Republic of Tatarstan has made a lot of efforts to turn Sviyazhsk into a promoted tourist center. That’s noticeable. The square is paved with paving stones, the lawns are neatly trimmed, knowledge is put in order, and the views from the high bank to the Volga with its banks perfectly complement the landscape. Feeling as if you are inside a beautiful unreal scenery. After admiring the beautiful views, you can visit the so-called “Lazy Torzhok”.
In addition to buying souvenirs, it offers all kinds of entertainment for real “good fellows”. For example, for only 200 rubles you can throw a spear at a target until your hand dries up from habit. You can dress up in medieval warriors and, rattling weapons, arrange a photo session for yourself. It is proposed to fight with swords and battle axes.
In short, a lot of interesting things have been prepared here for the cheerful company of real heroes. Having won your fill, you can visit the Buyan cafe to celebrate your glorious victories.
Why Buyan? Not at all because there is supposed to be a row. Remember the lines of A.S. Pushkin from “The Tale of Tsar Saltan”:
“The wind makes a merry noise,
The ship runs merrily
Past Buyan Island
To the kingdom of the glorious Saltan “
Rumor has it that Sviyazhsk is the prototype of Pushkin’s Buyan. True, the poet himself saw the miracle island after writing the fairy tale. In a word, it seems that historians and art historians are openly “persecuting” us, just to attract our attention and empty our wallets. Here, several people from our group, having admired the white motor ship standing at the pier, decided to interrupt the excursion program, take a longer walk around the island, and then return to Kazan by water.
Great idea! After all, a ticket from Sviyazhsk to Kazan is not so expensive, only … 122 rubles. There were still three hours before departure for a leisurely walk and sightseeing. And then they will board a snow-white ship and have a great opportunity to admire the island-hail from the water. They say this is a very beautiful sight. After a short rest, our thinned group, led by a guide, “flowed” to the last object: the Sviyazhsky Ioanno-Baptist monastery. Here, special attention should be paid to the very wooden church, which I mentioned at the beginning of the article.
On the logs of the log house, you can still see the marks according to which these ancient walls were collected. You cannot go inside the church. But the mere fact of being near a wooden church, which is almost 500 years old and which Ivan the Terrible himself visited, makes this place very special. I can’t even believe that a wooden structure can stand for so long. We can only hope that we are not deceived in the most shameless way.
Our walking tour of the ancient city ended in the same place where it began – on the Assumption Square. Here we were given 15-20 minutes to buy souvenirs and farewell photos. And now we are on our way back.
On the way, I thought all the time that if I want to visit Sviyazhsk again, I will definitely use the regular motor ship . It departs from the Kazan river station at 8.20 (it is better to check the current schedule in advance) and arrives on the island in 2 hours. The return flight is at 15.30.
As you can see, there is enough time for everything, and a river walk is a separate pleasure that you should not deny yourself. Or maybe I’ll stay in Sviyazhsk for a couple of days. I’ll take a hotel room. It’s not that expensive.
Excursion “Evening lights of Kazan”
In truth, I just dreamed that this excursion for some reason would not take place. Judge for yourself: a sleepless night in a train carriage, then an excursion to Sviyazhsk for the whole day. I wanted to rest a little. But alas! At 21.00 we were asked to take the bus again. Literally right after landing, the same thought occurred to all passengers. Some even spoke it out loudly. The point boiled down to reasoning on the topic: “what an idiot sent a bus with tightly tinted windows on a night tour.” Indeed, which one? While the light was on in the cabin, there was impenetrable darkness outside the window: nothing could be seen except bright lanterns. It was only when the bus set off and the lights were turned off that visibility improved, but … it would be better if the windows were ordinary. I could only hope
Our expectations were met. The first stop happened within a few minutes. We could admire the new building of the puppet theater . When the night lights were on, it looked like a fairytale castle.
True, in order to take good photos, one had to move away. But we didn’t have time for that. You will laugh, but they let us out of the bus for only 3-5 minutes. We were not laughing. In the allotted time, I had to jump to a more or less successful point, take photos and immediately rush back. I want to say right away that not every camera is suitable for such filming. Smartphones in the dark “lift up” the sensitivity of the matrix so that the whole picture turns out in a terrible grain. If you go on a night tour of Kazan, take a camera with manual settings and high-aperture lenses. There will be a chance to get some decent pictures. My Sony RX100, while compact, did the job quite well. All photos from this report were taken by him.
Next stop is the Palace of Agriculture . Despite the magnificent architecture and enviable location, right on the embankment of the Kazanka River, local residents call it a pejorative name – the Collective Farmer’s House. I do not know what to say. It seemed to me that the word “palace” would be more appropriate here.
To capture the entire grandiose building, I had to move very far into the depths of the square. Fortunately, the absence of vegetation allowed us to make excellent shots. True, while I was running around the square in search of a suitable place, the guide told a lot about the Palace. Otherwise, why did all the other tourists stand around him and listen with their mouths open? But here everyone must decide for himself what is best for him. Or find out the features of the landmark, or take a photo of it. I chose the latter. Now you can also see this majestic structure. Then we were transported across the Kazanka River and dropped off at the Bowl. In fact, this is also a palace – the Palace of the Kazan family .
Here is the local registry office, at the top – an observation deck. At night, the Bowl is beautifully illuminated with iridescent lights. Not far from the entrances, there are statues of half lions, half unknown. According to the guide, these animals guard family happiness. Maybe I won’t argue. But, you know, I came closer to one such guardian and looked at his face … You will see such a person in a dream at night – you will not wake up. I do not know what they can guard.
After the guide finished his story, we were asked to independently approach the Chalice. The bus could not drive up to it, so those who wished had to march 200 meters (and then back). 15 minutes were allotted for a close acquaintance with the attraction. Some tourists immediately wandered towards the bus, as if showing their views exactly where they saw the Cup. Others decided to try their luck. And now we are rushing to one of the main attractions of Kazan. We do not give a look, but still everyone tries to overtake the others in order to take successful pictures “without witnesses,” every now and then climbing into the frame.
Night photography without a tripod is generally a thankless task. Especially if there is no time at all. But, fortunately, on the lawns, some openwork structures were found on which there were flowerpots with flowers. If you put a camera next to the flowerpot, you can take a longer exposure, which means you can get quite tolerable night photos. The rest of the tourists with might and main clicked the landmark with their smartphones and looked suspiciously at the person who froze motionless for several seconds next to the camera on an improvised stand. That is, on me. But now I can boast of photographs that are unlikely to work if you shoot in the dark with a gadget.
The next number on our program was the Ferris wheel. Riding on it was included in the tour price. The wheel is located next to the famous Riviera water park. On the occasion of the late hour, it was already closed, but we managed to look at the sleeping pipes and pools from above.
Some sightseers modestly refrained from skiing. They referred to the fear of heights, poor health. But the bulk of them lined up to board. The cabins were closed, so it was almost impossible to fall out and fall from a height. However, it was also impossible to shoot through transparent plastic. It’s good that there are vents in the booth. If you open them and stick out the camera, you can get interesting pictures.
True, when it is already pitch dark outside, you still won’t be able to get high-quality photos. The contrast between the overall black background and the bright building lights is too great. You have to shoot with a short shutter speed – the booth is in motion and constantly shakes. Only a fast lens helps out. If you set shutter speed to 1/15 and ISO sensitivity 400-800, there is a chance to get more or less bearable images.
It is better to turn on burst shooting and click each frame several times, like from a machine gun. A single photo may not work, it may be blurry. And when there are a dozen of them, you can probably choose the most successful one.
Singing fountains became the last stop on the route through evening Kazan . We were brought to Gorky Park and given 20 minutes to enjoy the view.
This is a truly unusual sight. Imagine a small area: 11 meters wide and 19 meters long. There are 209 computer-controlled water jets installed in this area.
The height of the ejection of water is not so great – up to 2 meters, but when the whole system starts to work with music, and even with beautiful lighting, the spectacle becomes really exciting.
You can show photographs, but it is better to watch a small video of the singing fountain in Gorky Park:
There are benches around the fountain. You can sit down and watch this amazing water-light symphony.
In summer, children run around the fountain, dodging the billowing jets of water. Even adults sometimes cannot resist not to fool around with the singing fountain. Moreover, there is nothing wrong with that. The Singing Fountain in Kazan belongs to the type of “pedestrian fountains”. It is mounted so that you can actually walk on the surface. Well, and if it suddenly splashes from below you properly … do not murmur. I wanted it myself, so get it)
Our tour of Kazan at night ended on this optimistic note. Then the bus drove past the largest hotels. Those interested could come out “on demand”.
Alas, my hotel was off the route, so I had to go to the final stop – Tukay Square. Walking along the pedestrian Bauman street, you can witness the manifestations of the “night life” of Kazan. Amateur artists worked here and there. The singers gathered around themselves large crowds of people. To tell the truth, I liked the performance of one artist so much that I would not mind buying his CD.
Then you could watch an amazing fire show. No matter how great the fatigue was after almost a day’s sleepless marathon, I could not pass by what was happening here. A real holiday, performance, action! It looks like these guys have been preparing to enter the Kazansky Arbat for several weeks.
I do not know why, but the performance of the artist with four transparent balls made the greatest impression on me. They looked like glass. What was done with them … it must be seen. Any words here will be powerless. So the first day in Kazan ended. The impressions were even more than enough. And the next day there should have been more. Indeed, on the second day, an excursion to the city of Bolgar was planned.
Kazan. Second day of the marathon. Great Bolgar
Bauman’s morning street – a pedestrian street in the very center of the historical part of Kazan – is strikingly different from the evening one. There is no longer that special atmosphere of a general holiday, there are no artists, singers and dancers. But there are homeless people who occupied the shops. Some are sleeping, others are eating something.
Here are a couple engaged in a drunken brawl, I don’t even know why. I’m not sure they know that themselves.
In the morning, it becomes clear that the paving stones laid on the pedestrian street are not so even. In some places, one can see not so much subsidence, but real failures.
The janitors have not yet begun to perform their duties, so there are some pieces of paper, packaging from oriental sweets everywhere, and bottles, whole and broken, stand and lie near the benches.
I mean, it seems like there are no ideal cities. Although they said that Kazan is a special city, even here there is something that can be improved and something to work on.
In the morning, almost all shops and entertainment establishments are closed, therefore, on the road from the Kremlin to Tukay Square, from where the bus to Bolgar is supposed to leave, you can walk quite quickly. But the morning is a great time to take photos of the sights of Bauman Street with almost no people. Therefore, it took me almost an hour to travel.
We leave for an amazing place – the capital of the Volga Bulgaria. This is a state that existed simultaneously with the Golden Horde. The tour bus travels to the destination in 3 hours. The best places are again on the starboard side of the bus (as seen in the direction of travel). Those who sat on the left armchairs roasted in the sun both on the way “there” and on the way “back.” So, as they say, shake it off!
In general, the best option would be to rent a hotel in Bolgar and stay there for three days. Then it would be possible to give this ancient artifact the amount of attention it deserves. But if you have only a few days to explore all the sights of Kazan and the surrounding area, then you have to be content with a one-day sightseeing tour.
So, leaving at 10 am, the bus arrived at its destination only at 1 pm. We were given five and a half hours to inspect the Bulgarian settlement, including lunch, which is included in the tour price. Let’s take a look at the objects that await you on the territory of the reserve in order.
This is not just some kind of obelisk or memorial stone. When the guide on the bus told us the program of the excursion and mentioned the “Memorable Sign”, it never occurred to us that signs could be like that.
In fact, it turned out to be a large beautiful building built in the style of ancient oriental mausoleums in 2012 in honor of the 1000th anniversary of the adoption of Islam as a state religion in the Volga Bulgaria.
In the basement of the building, there is a museum dedicated to this historical event. Alas, for those who are “not in the subject”, it will be difficult to appreciate all the features and values presented in the exhibition. To do this, you need to know the culture and religion.
The main upper hall of the building houses the world’s largest printed Quran. The dimensions of the holy book are truly amazing. It was printed in Italy in 2011. It measures 2 x 1.5 meters and weighs 800 kilograms.
Semi-precious stones and gold leaf were used to decorate the cover.
Originally, the largest Koran was kept in the Kul-Sharif mosque in the Kazan Kremlin. But then it was decided to transport him to Bolgar. It took 16 people to load the book.
Most surprisingly, this book is actually read during the great Muslim holidays. Moreover, so that the pages do not stick together, once a month they are flipped one after the other by two special employees. This should be done with the greatest care so as not to tear the paper.
In order for the photographs of the holy book to turn out as best as possible, you need to climb the steps directly to the foot of the sarcophagus. This is permitted. Then the shot from above will look better. A polarizing filter will still do the trick to block out the reflected light.
Mind you, the glass of the sarcophagus containing the Quran is eerily glinting. Therefore, it is best to shoot from the steps mentioned, waiting until there are no people around the pedestal with the holy book (this should be very lucky), or there will be very few people.
Then we examined the cathedral mosque and the large minaret. On the way to them there is a small archaeological park. Here are the reconstruction of the foundations of houses in which the inhabitants of the capital of the Volga Bulgaria lived.
In truth, it was hard to believe that these were really residential buildings. Some log cabins were 3×3 meters in size. Some even less. How could a whole family fit in such a house, if I may say so?
It turned out that earlier people did not build large houses at all. “Square meters” were needed only to spend the night under the roof. The rest of the time people were on the street. In addition, a small dwelling can be heated with a very small stove. We are the ones who are spoiled! Give a family of 2 a separate two-room apartment with an area of at least 60 meters! And if you own a house, then at least 150-200 square meters on two or three floors. The inhabitants of the ancient Bolgar got by with much more modest areas.
The second argument in favor of small houses was that earlier people were generally shorter. The average height of men a thousand years ago was 145-155 centimeters. Can’t believe it? Here are reliable scientific facts for you: when they examined the relics of the well-known Ilya Muromets, it turned out that his height was only 177 centimeters. At that time, he was a giant, a hero. So it all fits together. The stunted inhabitants of ancient Bulgaria had no use for large houses, which are now threefold.
But the Cathedral Mosque and the large minaret more than compensated for the modesty of commoners’ dwellings. Unfortunately, to date, only the ruins of the mosque itself have survived, with parts of the walls and towers added later. There is even a red line on the walls of the mosque, which shows where the ancient ruins end and the “new building” begins.
The plans of the leadership of the Republic of Tatarstan include a complete reconstruction of the mosque. On the one hand, it seems to be a good thing. On the other hand … then we will no longer see the very ancient stones that anyone can touch with their hands today. I just can’t believe that these are the same stones that were laid in the foundation of the building about 1000 years ago.
If you climb the stairs and go inside the Cathedral Mosque, you can see the restored flat stone floor (we thought that we would have to jump on the cornerstones of history). The columns that once supported the vault have collapsed and today new ones stand in their place, made in the image and likeness of the lost ones.
In the very center of the hall there is one miraculously preserved ancient column. There is a strange belief among tourists that if you go around this column three times and make a wish, then it will certainly come true.
True, these rumors are not supported by anything, except for a strong desire to get everything at once and, preferably, for free. Even the mullah, passing through the territory of the mosque and seeing people trampling around the column in a frenzied round dance, only clucked his tongue in contrition and went on, saying something incomprehensible, but clearly disapproving.
There is a beautiful and tall white minaret next to the ruins of the cathedral mosque. It was completely rebuilt to replace the ancient one that collapsed in 1814. The building owes its destruction to black diggers, who, in pursuit of ancient artifacts, dug numerous manholes under the base of the tower.
This is not confirmed by historical documents, but according to legend, during the fall, the minaret still pinched several of its offenders. It was not possible to find out whether this was in fact or such rumors are spread for the edification of descendants.
Since we are talking about black archaeologists who only dream of digging up some historical things and selling them to some collector, I will say just a few words about how the ancient settlement is protected today.
Of course, it would be possible to enclose the entire area with a net, or build a high fence. But here they took a different path. There are poles with video cameras around the entire territory of the reserve. They are powered by solar panels and detect unauthorized intrusions. Such an electronic fence made it possible not to disfigure the landscape with any solid barriers. Therefore, when approaching the reserve, tourists see from the bus window not a fence with a beautiful barbed wire, but historical buildings.
The next item on the program was a visit to the Eastern Mausoleum. It is called so because there is also the North. In order not to confuse them, the objects were named by their location on the territory of the settlement. The eastern mausoleum is interesting from several points of view. Firstly, it combines the characteristic features of both Muslim and Orthodox churches. One quick glance is enough to be convinced of this.
The second feature is that the mausoleum was built on the site of an even more ancient structure. You can verify this by going inside. You find yourself in a mini archeology museum. Fragments of different historical layers are shown here. Several tombs, kilns for the burning of clay products and the remains of the foundation of a certain circular structure.
Unfortunately, during the excursion there is almost no time to study the explanatory inscriptions. Those who are seriously interested in archeology and the history of ancient civilizations should come to Bolgar for a few days to see and photograph everything in detail.
To the credit of the administration of the reserve, the mausoleum, like all other objects, is kept in exemplary condition. All artifacts are signed, so even without a guide, here you can get comprehensive information about the subject of the exposition.
The mausoleum has amazing acoustics. The hipped roof, apparently, was built for a reason. Its shape allows it to perfectly reflect sound. Therefore, when our guide told us about this ancient structure, everyone heard it perfectly, despite the fact that they scattered around the building chaotically.
The Northern Mausoleum is an excellent example of pronounced oriental architectural traditions. Such hemispherical roofs can be seen in Muslim countries around the world.
There is a lapidarium in the Northern mausoleum … What is it? Frankly, before visiting Bolgar, I also did not know this word. It turned out to be an exhibition of epigraphy … Again, what is it? It is a historical discipline dealing with the collection, deciphering and interpretation of inscriptions made on hard media – stone, bronze, etc.
It is rightly said that travel is one of the most effective ways of education! You can learn many new words, look at various interesting things, look into history. And, although the Northern Mausoleum contains nothing but ancient tombstones, this exhibition is a collection of almost priceless exhibits.
It turns out that it was from the inscriptions on the tombstones that scientists got an idea of the language of the ancient Bulgarians, learned about their life, culture, etc. After all, these slabs indicated not only the name of the deceased and the years of his life, as is done now.
Each slab is the story of an individual person. Having collected these grains and brought them into a single system, scientists have compiled a rather extensive and accurate picture of the life of the capital of the Volga Bulgaria.
When you touch with your hand an inscription engraved on a stone a thousand years ago, you experience very unusual feelings. Perhaps this is exactly what a touch of History itself looks like.
When we were told on the bus on the way to Bolgar that we would visit the khan’s palace, many imagined pictures of a majestic building, luxurious interiors and other attributes of similar places.
In fact, on the territory of the Bulgar settlement, only hints have been preserved of where the palace was and what it had inside. From a distance, we noticed a large plastic tent, but we thought it was just a place to sell souvenirs or a summer cafe.
It turned out that this is the “Khan’s Palace” object. On a rather large, tent-covered area, there were fragments of excavated artifacts: foundations, stones, a small reconstruction of a wooden dwelling. In truth, the palace did not make the proper impression on us.
The highlight of this place, which was then discussed for a long time, was the guide. But not ours, but from another group. She broadcast in a rather loud, squeaky voice, theatrically splashing her hands, and almost fell into historical ecstasy, rolling her eyes terribly. Even being in the distance, it was impossible to listen to our guide, as he was drowned out by a loud colleague.
It ended up with our attention completely shifting. We could no longer listen to the story of our guide, every now and then, laughing with laughter, when at the moments of the highest expression the voice of the squeaky guide soared to heavenly heights.
This poetic name was given to nothing but a public bath. The chamber itself, however, we were not able to see. Only one foundation remained of the former greatness. But even from it it was possible to judge how the civilization of the ancient Bulgarians overtook the notorious European culture.
While in advanced Europe, I apologize for being straightforward, they threw slop right onto the street and shit from balconies (do you think where the name “French balcony came from?”), The capital of Volga Bulgaria already had a water supply and sewerage system. Even fragments of pipes from ancient hydraulic engineering systems have survived. We will see them again when we go to the museum of the Bulgarian civilization.
The White Chamber was used not only as a place to put yourself in order. Here we met with other townspeople, discussed business, news, talked about politics and culture. That is, it was a meeting place for the nobility, a kind of “club”. In principle, there is nothing so unusual and surprising in this. And nowadays, to celebrate special days or business negotiations, sometimes a room is rented in a sauna with a swimming pool.
The ruins of the White Chamber, like the cathedral mosque, are adapted for visiting tourists. In both places there is a good level floor of stone slabs. Otherwise I would have to jump over sharp stones. Some fragments of the foundation were built on with more modern masonry, but everything looks quite organic. As in the cathedral mosque, there is a “red line” showing where the “new building” is, and where are the ancient ruins.
Khan’s tomb and small minaret
These objects are located at some distance from the rest. When the guide showed us the buildings barely visible in the distance, many of the excursionists emitted an involuntary groan. We have already walked for a long time on the territory of the settlement, and here we still have to stomp so far.
But the distance was deceiving. The journey took only five minutes. I did not time the clock, but I was guided by the time of the last picture at the White Chamber and the first one near the tomb. Indeed – 5 minutes. The track, although it passes through rough terrain, is well paved. So we had a great opportunity to take a walk, get some fresh air, admire the views. But all this is good in sunny weather. Had it rained and gusty that day, the walk would not have been enjoyable.
At the new place we were shown a couple of mausoleums, told another beautiful legend. There is nothing interesting inside the buildings. Only a few tombstones with inscriptions in the ancient Bulgarian language.
A real adventure awaited us at the minaret. It turned out that anyone could go up there. True, there was a limitation: only two people could be inside the tower at the same time. And this is not related to any religious issues. It’s just that the spiral staircase there is so cramped that it’s not safe to walk on it in a crowd.
Have you ever climbed a real minaret? And even ancient? If not, then do not miss your chance. I managed to be in the first “pair” simply because I was standing next to the entrance by a lucky chance.
Climbing a tight spiral staircase, constant head bumping against the ceiling, absence of railings, very narrow and high steps made an indelible impression. But what was the climb compared to the descent?
When you get up, you have to naturally lean forward. Therefore, the low ceiling is not very disturbing. But on the descent …
Imagine the following situation: you are walking down the stairs of an apartment building, but the distance between the flights of the stairs is much less than usual. In other words, the flight that is above you hangs at a height of only one and a half meters from the one you are descending along.
This is exactly the case when the ceiling “presses” on the head. It is not possible to straighten up to full height. It is also impossible to lean forward – the head will be below the belt and you can roll down the steps. There will be nothing to grab onto, since there is no rail.
There are only two ways you can descend in this case. The first is to lean back strongly. It’s not very convenient. The second option is to go down on all fours with your feet forward. The position of the torso is the same as when lifting, but you move downward, feeling with your feet for the next steps.
Neither option is convenient, but there are no other options. It will be especially tight in the minaret for people with growth above average.
However, despite the inconvenience, I highly recommend you make this wonderful ascent. At least in order to decorate your trip with another vivid memory.
By the way, one legend is connected with the small minaret. They say that if you go up to the very top three times and go back down, then all your sins will be written off. It is clear that this is just a legend. If not, I would have walked back and forth ten times. It is a pity that climbing to the very top – the balcony of the minaret – is impossible. A spiral staircase leads you to the window, and then the passage is walled up. Probably so that people could not so easily write off their sins)
Museum of the Bulgarian Civilization
After lunch in a local cafe, we were again loaded onto a bus and “taken” to the territory of the settlement. Here we were to examine the museum of the Bulgarian civilization. In appearance, he seemed to us very tiny. Judge for yourself – a small one-story building could not accommodate many exhibits. So we never thought that we would stay here for more than half an hour.
The error came out. Who would have thought that this squat building had 6 floors? One above the surface of the earth. The rest go down. Not exactly underground. This whole structure is on the edge of a cliff. The museum simultaneously serves as a river station, oddly enough it may sound.
In general, when they say the word “museum”, the association with the banal “junk warehouse” pops up in the minds of many people. Considering the more than generous government funding for such institutions, most museums feel a little awkward. And double.
The guide is embarrassed, talking about the exhibits that are in a state of repose, realizing that the group is most likely to care about these sights. The group, in turn, experiences remorse, which forces the guide to tell obviously uninteresting things. And all this against the background of leaking ceilings and cracked walls.
But in Bolgar we happened to see a completely different type of museum. Modern building, escalators, good lighting, multimedia installations, electronic information kiosks … well, exhibits, of course.
A lot of them. No, rather a lot. I believe that it would have taken several days for a leisurely survey of all expositions, to read most of the signatures on the exhibits.
In addition to historical finds, models of buildings, whole reconstructions of territories are presented here, there are places to sit and relax. I’m not even talking about the fact that there is a cozy cafe on the first floor of the museum.
Talking about the museum of the Bulgarian civilization in this short article is a thankless task. It’s the same as if we asked an astronaut who landed on the lunar surface and just returned back, to tell about his impressions, and he would limit himself to one word: “normal.”
This museum will be especially interesting for specialists, historians, and culturologists. Visitors professing Islam will be more interesting than representatives of other faiths.
Another visit to the museum in the city of Bolgar would be recommended to employees of other museums and heads of cultural departments of other regions. Here they will be able to see what a museum can be and learn from useful experience.
The last chord on our trip to the ancient Bolgar was a visit to the White Mosque. This architectural ensemble was built in 2012. At the first glance at the sight, a muffled whisper rushed along the bus: “Tatzh-Mahal”.
Indeed, in the outlines of the White Mosque there is something similar to the world famous Indian temple. Later, when I compared the photos of both buildings, it became clear that they are not much alike. Some similarities are achieved in the main pool in front of the entrance. For the rest … here, admire for yourself:
You must take off your shoes before entering the mosque. They also sell ordinary hospital shoe covers. But not to wear them over your boots. Shoes must be removed and shoe covers put on. This is how the traditions of Islam are observed and, at the same time, the rules of hygiene. After all, masses of tourists come here. You never know where they have climbed in their socks before?
Shoe covers are better to have your own. And not because in the mosque they are sold worth their weight in gold. No, the price is the most common. Just having your own shoe covers will save you from standing in line for them. Can you imagine what will happen if several tourist groups arrive at once?
After the ceremony of changing shoes, we were invited to climb the stairs to the guest balcony. From it you can see a vast hall where Muslims gather for services.
In general, the interior of the mosque is very different from the Orthodox church. Two important points are striking at once. Firstly, the room is very bright. There are many windows, a large luxurious chandelier, walls are decorated in light colors. In Orthodox churches, it is usually somewhat darker.
The second difference is the complete absence of anything resembling icons. It is difficult to imagine an Orthodox church without the faces of the saints. In Islam, there is a strict prohibition on depicting not only people, but also animals. All this is the prerogative of the Almighty. That is why in the ornamental design of interiors you will see symbolic plant leaves, flowers, but nothing more.
To tell the truth, this was my first time in a Muslim mosque. Everything here was unusual, new and very interesting. Perhaps it is not worth mentioning that certain rules must be observed in the temple. They deal with dress and behavior.
We stayed on the guest balcony of the mosque for about ten minutes. During this time, we managed to examine the interior in all details and listen to a prayer. Now I roughly imagine what could be inside a Muslim mosque, although I understand that they can be very different from each other. Fortunately, it was not forbidden to take pictures inside, so we managed to take away many interesting photographs as a keepsake.
Our visit to the White Mosque is over. Before leaving for Kazan, we were given a little time to explore a small souvenir market. One could simply wander around the surroundings, reach the gates of the Bulgar settlement and cast a farewell glance at all those objects that we managed to see during this long day.
A visit to the ancient Bolgar is definitely worthwhile if you have an extra free day in Kazan. This attraction, although somewhat spoiled by the modern reconstruction of the ruins, seemed to me the main one that I managed to see. I don’t know if you will be as interested in the ancient settlement as I am. As you know, there is no dispute about tastes.
I will say one thing. If I were in Kazan again and I had a free day, or rather two, I would again “wave off” to the capital of the Volga Bulgaria – a vanished state that existed simultaneously with the Golden Horde.
The last day. City tour
I understand that this is wrong. Such an event should have been planned for the very first day. But it just so happened, and nothing can be done about it.
Looking ahead, I will say that I did not like the sightseeing tour. Maybe this happened because before that there were more ambitious and interesting trips. Maybe the guide let us down. At times it began to seem that she was about to fall asleep with a microphone in her hands. I even recorded on video a small fragment of the excursion, as an example of the guide’s unsuccessful work.
In addition, it was somehow completely uninteresting to ride the bus and hear about the buildings that flew from the left, then the right and which were not always possible to see.
The first stop, as well as on a night tour, took place at the Puppet Theater. And just like at night, we were given only a few minutes to get off the bus, run away, and click the building. The reason was the ban on stopping transport in front of the theater. But our brave driver, risking a big fine, still gave us a full five minutes for sightseeing.
On the one hand, thanks for that too. On the other hand … well, I don’t know. Maybe it would be possible to solve this in a more civilized way.
The next stop was literally a hundred meters from the first. We were greeted by a tourist site Tugan-Avylym – a Tatar village. We spent almost 40 minutes here. We had a lot of souvenir shops, a shooting range where you can shoot from a bow or crossbow, several restaurants and even a museum of teddy bears. In short, a paradise for tourists who still have money left.
The next stop is at the Kazan Monastery of the Mother of God, next to which there is a place where the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God, especially revered by Orthodox believers, was found. First, we listened to the story of the finding of the icon, then went to the church, where those who wished could pray to the shrine.
The excursion ended on the territory of the Kazan Kremlin. According to the excursion plan, we were to visit the majestic Kul-Sharif mosque , see the Syuyumbike tower and learn its legend, visit an exhibition of paintings from the Tretyakov Gallery, which at that moment was visiting the Kremlin Hermitage.
To tell the truth, of all these points, the most interesting was, of course, the visit to the mosque. Even from the outside it seems huge, inside this impression is greatly enhanced.
I didn’t even think that everyone could enter the mosque. Several times during these three days I wandered around the territory of the Kremlin, since it is located a stone’s throw from the hotel, examined the temple from all sides, took a myriad of photographs. But if not for the excursion, I would never have got inside.
At the entrance to the mosque we were again asked to bring our clothes in line with the rules of the visit. Shorts, T-shirts with bare shoulders are not allowed. Women are not allowed to wear trousers and bare their heads. Those who did not match were given headscarves, skirts, and shoulder capes free of charge.
Inspection of the mosque began from the basement floor. It turned out to be a rather large hall. In its center was a glass sarcophagus with a model of the building. Despite the fact that the mosque is active, there are souvenir shops on the ground floor. This surprised me a lot. It is clear that Orthodox churches also have so-called church shops, but they only sell church utensils and literature. There were also mugs, and plates, and calendars, and fridge magnets. I don’t blame it, I just didn’t expect it.
In the center of the hall near the model, excursions are usually collected. The guides talk about the construction of the building, about the person in whose honor the mosque is named. It is almost impossible to remember all this the first time. Photographing a layout without the crowd in the background is even more difficult. I succeeded almost by accident. It’s just that two groups rushed to the guest balcony in a race, and I, without thinking twice, began to click the camera. The resulting pictures can be considered a rare piece of luck.
The ascent to the common balcony was rather long. There is no elevator in the mosque, so if you want to visit the guest balcony yourself, get ready for a long climb. You can practice in advance by going up to the 5th floor of a house.
But our efforts were rewarded with a magnificent view from the balcony. As in the White Mosque of the ancient Bolgar, the interior of Kul-Sharif turned out to be light and spacious. The height of the room from the floor to the top of the dome is such that a modern nine-storey building could fit here. Can you imagine?
The interior decoration was complemented by a magnificent chandelier. Its diameter is 5 meters, and its weight is 2.5 tons. All glass parts of the chandelier were made in the Czech Republic according to the sketches of Tatar artists. For the construction of the mosque, materials from all over the country were used, and it was built exclusively with donations.
It is noteworthy that there is a book in which all the people who donated money for the construction are recorded. And really everything. Even those who contributed only 100 rubles. I could not see this book, but I guess it should be thick enough.
From the guest balcony you can climb one of the four main minarets. Unfortunately, this ascent is not included in the excursion program. Most likely for security reasons. After all, one would have to climb to a height of 57 meters along a complex spiral staircase. The staircase is metal, it has no railings. I think “not every bird would have flown to the middle of the Dnieper”
In order to climb the minaret, you need to obtain special permission from the administration of the Kazan Kremlin. So, if you want to make such an ascent, you need to prepare in advance so as not to rush at the last moment. Tower Syuyumbike
Many legends are associated with it. One is more beautiful than the other. In addition to its unusual shape, the tower attracts the eye with a rather significant roll. At one time, the building was erected in a hurry, so oak pillars were used as a foundation.
You understand that for a long time from the day of construction, the foundation has lost its bearing capacity. The tower began to collapse. To stop the fall, a concrete pad was poured under the base.
Currently, the deviation of the top point of the spire from the vertical is almost 2.5 meters. The tower is still standing, but as soon as it deviates another meter, the fall will be inevitable. This is what the experts say. I hope you still have time to see the tower in a standing position in the very form in which it was built almost 500 years ago.
Unfortunately, and for some unknown reason, we were not invited to the observation deck of the Kazan Kremlin. I knew about her and was very surprised at this turn of events. After all, the group was almost there. Literally 100 meters and we would see magnificent views of the Kazanka River, the trans-river part of the city, the historical center, etc.
Alas, the guide didn’t take the trouble to take us there. If you find yourself in the Kremlin, do not forget to go to the observation deck yourself. Walk between the Annunciation Cathedral and the park with the monument to the architect of the Kazan Kremlin, go around the building of the Presidential Administration of the Republic of Tatarstan on the left and enjoy an unforgettable view.
On this I will allow myself to conclude my long story. Of course, the option I proposed is not the only correct one. Everyone has their own preferences, everyone will choose their own route. 3 days is, of course, not the time that allows you to get used to the everyday life of the capital of the republic. But for an initial acquaintance, they are quite enough.
I wish you all a pleasant journey and an unforgettable experience!