Annunciation (Blagoveshchenskyi) cathedral

Location: Kazan, Sheynkman Str.

The cathedral is a unique 16th-century monument, the most ancient of the Orthodox cathedrals in the central Volga region. Pskov master builders under the direction of the famous Postnik Yakovlev built it in 1556. Originally it was made entirely of stone with 6 columns, 5 cupolas, and 5 apses, and with two chapels on either side or a porch running between them which curved round the central cube of the cathedral. This, the main Christian place of worship in Kazan, had additions made to it right up to the middle of the 19th century. The architecture of the cathedral displays traditions from different schools and different periods. From its initial form, the central body of the cathedral with the one middle drum has survived to this day as have three apses, the foundations of the two stone side-chapels, traces of the interior fresco, and a number of decorative elements. An addition to the number of unique items worth seeing at the cathedral is a stone with an inscription in Arabic of an epigraphic nature, which was discovered in the ancient wall masonry under a layer of plaster in the course of restoration work. The builders used it as a door crosspiece.