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Trip to Sviazhsk

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Sviazhsk is a scenic island located 60 km from Kazan and surrounded by the waters of the Volga, Sviaga and Schuka rivers. Built as a fortress on the top of the hill  by the order of Ivan the Terrible to capture Kazan khanate in the 16th century Sviazhsk became a spiritual center in the tsars times. In Soviet era it was turned into a prison of GULAG system while in 1957 it became an island during the construction of water reservoir.
Prominent Russian poet, Aleksandr Pushkin  forsaw the destiny of this town which inspired him and became the prototype of the island Buyan in one of his fairy-tales.

Among the wooden buildings of original Sviazhsk fortress, only the Trinity church built without nails only by axes has survived. Other stone buildings date back to  the 16th century and later times including Assumption monastery.  The main cathedral of it preserved some original frescos  where one say you can see the image of Ivan the Terrible while alive.

During the tour, you will not only learn the history of Sviazhsk over the times but also enjoy peaceful life of a village as well as see some stunning rural views of the Volga.

Tour duration: 5-6 hours
Transportation: by car

*In summer time it is possible to get to the island by the local river-boat which goes along the Volga river. The boat might be very busy at weekends  since a lot of people commute to their dachas ( summer houses). There are no assigned seats there.

Possible  tour extension:
Raifa monastery is situated on the way to Sviazhsk in the picturesques area of the Volga-Kama biospheric nature reserve.  Founded in the 17th century, it was closed for the youth detention center in the Soviet époque  and revived as a monastery these days.


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