A day tour to the “island-city” of Sviyazhsk - one of the main sights in Tatarstan. It is located 30km from Kazan among picturesque scenery on a 62-hectare island in the mouth of the River Sviyaga. Sviyazhsk marks the first place of Russian settlement in the area, founded in 1551 by Ivan the Terrible as a Russian base for his campaigns against the Kazan Khanate. A fortress was constructed in the city of Uglich by Ivan Vyrodkov (Russia’s first military engineer) and then sailed in sections down the Volga where it was pieced together on top of the Lysaya Hill. The Sviyazhsk Fortress was a grand project of its age and a year later, in 1552, Kazan fell to the Russians.
Over the years the settlement developed and grew rich and churches and monasteries were founded here. Famous mediaeval architects Ivan Shiryai and Postnik Yakovlev later worked on Sviyazhsk’s church and monastery complexes. Many other architectural landmarks from various eras are also found here, which even rival cities of Russia’s Golden Ring tourist route.
In Soviet times, a Gulag and psychiatric hospital were located on Sviyazhsk. The settlement only actually became an island in 1957 when surrounding land was flooded during the construction of the Kuibyshevskoe Reservoir. In 2008 a dam was built for a road, once again connecting it to the mainland.
The tour to Sviyazhsk Island can be combined with city-tour of Kazan or excursion to Raifsky monastery. If you travel along Trans-Siberian railway and have just few hours stop in the Kazan we will meet you at the railway station.
Kazan → Sviyazhsk → Kazan
Total distance of the tour: - 130km
• 10:00 •
Meeting with your guide. Transfer to Sviyazhsk island.
• 11:00 •
Arrival in Sviyazhsk. Excursion around the village. The highlights of the tour include:
- Bororoditse-Uspensky Monastery - this monastery was founded in 1555 just four years after the founding of Sviyazhsk itself. Two of the oldest buildings on the island can be found here: the Dormition Cathedral (1561) and St Nicholas’ Church (1556), which are now protected by UNESCO.
- Ioanno-Predtechensky Monastery - located here is the wooden Trinity Church which was constructed in one day in 1551. It was important for Ivan the Terrible to have a place to worship on the Feast of the Holy Trinity to obtain heavenly aid to his plan to found Sviyazhsk and capture Kazan.
- Rozhdestvenskaya Ploschad - this square, which means Nativity Square, makes up the centre of Sviyazhsk. Traditional festivals and public celebrations are held here, and on the edge of the square is a viewing platform which offers great views of the village and the river surrounding it.
- History of Sviyazhsk Museum - this museum has many historical artefacts which were found in archaeological digs on the island and displays on how the settlement has changed over the years from its foundation to the present day. CLOSED ON MONDAYS.
- Memorial to Victims of Political Repression - from the end of the 1920s until 1953 the Bororoditse-Uspensky Monastery was used as a Gulag camp. After the war, Sviyazhsk served not just as a prison but also as a place of isolation for war invalids, who spend the rest of their lives here. This memorial was erected in 2011 on the site of a mass grave dating from the 1940s.
Duration: 3 hours | Transportation: walking tour
• 14:00 •
Transfer back to Kazan.
• 15:00 •
Arrival in Kazan.
- The tour is available the whole year round starting on any day, but please take into account that the museum’s working hours and days-off vary so we reserve the right to change the itinerary while trying to save the excursion programme.
- Optional excursions should be booked before the start of the tour.
- Some religious sights such as active monasteries require a specific dress code in order to be allowed to visit - for women a scarf to cover your head and a skirt covering your knees (no trousers); for men no shorts and all headwear must be removed.
• CANCELLATION POLICY •
DATE OF CANCELLATION
(with respect to the date of the departure)
(with respect to the total price of the tour)
|FROM 60 TO 45 DAYS BEFORE THE DEPARTURE||10%|
|FROM 44 TO 15 DAYS BEFORE THE DEPARTURE||30%|
|FROM 14 TO 7 DAYS BEFORE THE DEPARTURE||50%|
|LESS THAN 7 DAYS BEFORE THE DEPARTURE||100%|