On arrival in Kazan Chris and Ilya were met by another colleague of Ilya’s. Marat took them on a road tour of Kazan – wide clean streets, beautiful buildings, and a kremlin. A kremlin is a walled city, not just the seat of power in Moscow – in Kazan many parts of the city were rebuilt after being destroyed by Ivan the Terrible.
Chris was intrigued by the mix of architecture, including a mosque and a church inside the kremlin. It seems that Catherine the Great allowed Muslims and Russian orthodox to rebuild their places of worship side by side. Marat, a local Tartar man, explained that there is no friction between the two cultures, both living happily together – mixed marriages are accepted and there is harmony there.