Old-Kazan (Iske-Kazan) museum and natural reserve is an incredibly fascinating and unique location located in Vysokogorsky district. It’s situated 45 km to the northeast of modern-day Kazan, among the villages of Tatarskaya Aisha, Kamaevo, and Russian Urmat. This museum is a sacred place that holds a complex of historical, cultural, archaeological, and natural objects. The Iske-Kazan state historical, cultural, and natural museum-reserve was founded in April 14, 1992. Nowadays it is home to a vast collection of noteworthy items for visitors to explore.
This location has deep roots in the history of the Bulgar-Tatar people. According to popular legend, Old-Kazan was founded near a large settlement that rose before the Mongol invasion by sons of the Bulgar Khan Abdulla – Alin-Bek and Altyn-Bek. Many historians believe the emergence of the Iske-Kazan settlement happened because of the Mongol-Tatar invasion of Khan Batyi’s troops in the mid-30s of the 13th century. Some historians believe the Mongol-Tatars themselves built the Kamaevo settlement as a stronghold of the region’s control. While others believe the residents of ruined Bulgarian cities founded it.
What to see at the museum
Within the museum-reserve visitors may find a wooden fortress, street exhibitions, a museum featuring archaeological and ethnographic collections, farm buildings, and more. “Archaeology” section is particularly exciting. It offers visitors a glimpse into the past with artefacts found during archaeological excavations – molded and pottery ceramics and iron objects. The ethnographic exposition is dedicated to the environment, clothes, and household items typical in rural peasant life. Additionally, the Iske-Kazan museum-reserve is home to several holy places, such as the grave of Gaishi-Bikeh, “Izge Mulla-Hadzhi Chishmese” spring (“The Spring of Saint Mulla-Hadzhi”), and “Khan Chishmese” spring (“The Khan’s Spring”). Exploring the museum-reserve’s territory is enjoyable, especially on a beautiful sunny day.
The Old-Kazan (Iske-Kazan) museum and natural reserve includes a whole complex of unique historical, cultural, archaeological and natural objects:
Kamaevskoe (Iske-Kazan) settlement of the 13th-16th centuries, the remains of the Kremlin, the political center of Iske-Kazan
Russian-Urmat settlement of the 12th–16th centuries – remains of the main trade and craft part of Iske-Kazan
Iske-Kazan cemetery of the 13th–16th centuries, with stone gravestones
Russian-Urmatskoye cemetery of the 12th-16th centuries, with stone gravestones
Natural landscape – slopes of the floodplain terrace of the Kazanka River, its floodplain meadow
Historical and ethnographic museum at the village of Kamaevo
Holy places: Gaisha-Bikeh grave, Iske-Kazan cemetery, “Holy Mulla-Hadzhi” spring, “Khansky” spring, “Samovar” spring
How to get to the museum
The Iske-Kazan museum-reserve is a must-see destination that you wouldn’t want to miss when you are in Kazan and Tatarstan. Getting to this place is quite easy and convenient as you can travel by train. The railway route will take you from the Kazan railway station and bring you to the cozy village of Kamaevo, where the Old-Kazan (Iske-Kazan) museum and natural reserve is located. The train ride lasts for just an hour, but it is an opportunity for you to see the picturesque landscapes of the region and enjoy the beautiful scenery along the way.
As soon as you reach the village, you will need to walk for about ten minutes to the museum-complex. It’s just a short distance, and you’ll enjoy the serene environment around you. The Iske-Kazan museum-reserve is an unique cultural heritage site where you can explore traditional Tatar life, rich history, and ancient artefacts that will leave you in awe. Don’t miss this incredible experience!