City Panorama attracts with big views on Khan’s Kazan, selfie with Syuyumbike and Tatar cuisine in Tram

A new tourist facility created for 510 million rubles opens in Kazan

City Panorama attracts with big views on Khan’s Kazan, selfie with Syuyumbike and Tatar cuisine in Tram Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

City Panorama exhibition and entertainment complex opens in Kazan on 4 January. Guests and citizens of the capital of Tatarstan will be able to both see miniatures of the modern architecture of the city and acquaint with Kazan of the 14 th-18th centuries. This unique point of interest is surprising due to its information content and modern technologies used in every exposition. A correspondent of Realnoe Vremya walked in the corridors and halls of the building.

Following example of Moscow and Shanghai

Exhibits dedicated to Kazan, its architecture, history and development stages are located on four storeys of a 3,600 square metre building, which was built 2,5 years ago.

''We had a place where we could build a residential apartment block or a building for offices. But we decided to create this project,'' director of the founder company Publishing House on Bauman CJSC tells Realnoe Vremya.

At the moment the exhibitions tell about only the 16 th,18th and 21st centuries, as strange it might sound. Other periods are waiting for their turn to come.

''We understand that it would be possible to tell about Kazan more. It is only the first stage,'' the interlocutor explains noting that the complex won't expand its borders. There won't be any additional buildings.

''We will continue working on the miniatures. They will develop. There will be additional buttons that will enable to create special effects in every place (additional voice recording at stadiums and railway stations, etc.)''.

''We understand that it would be possible to tell about Kazan more. It is only the first stage,'' Vitaly Bolshakov says. Photo: Maksim Platonov

According to Bolshakov, the Kazan miniature is based on the examples of Moscow (a candidate to be the biggest exhibition in the world) and Shanghai (600 square metres).

''Today it is in demand. And we decided that miniatures will be the central exhibition,'' he notes. ''When we started to make a project this building. Additional territories appeared. We used them in a way that this project was born: every floor has its own topic.''

''He personally checked every hill and every building''

Exhibitions were created by a big collective of artists, scientists, designers, engineers with the latest digital technologies.

As for the historical authenticity of exhibits, Doctor of Historical Sciences, director of the Institute of Archaeology of the Academy of Sciences of Tatarstan Airat Sitdikov's team worked on it.

''He personally checked every hill and every building,'' Vitaly Bolshakov claims.

On the first floor, visitors will be able to see a huge screen demonstrating a bright video about Kazan. In addition, there is information about the location of exhibitions. Here people can get a tablet that will be their audio guide that allows them to create an excursion in the complex on their own. The audio guide has special digital markings that help to identify a visitor's location at any time.

Kazan Labyrinth is an exhibition situated on the second floor that tells about the major historical periods of the Old Tatar Settlement's life

Kazan Labyrinth is an exhibition situated on the second floor that tells about the major historical periods of the Old Tatar Settlement's life, its famous citizens and acquaints with authentic exhibits of its everyday life. The second floor also has an amazing historical 10-minute film about the history of Tatars – from a legend about Zilant to the 1970s. Curiously, visitors watch the film in a circular 360° video panorama, not in a traditional format.

Despite the modern design of the centre, paintings on the walls made by a team of professional artists (Rashit Safiullin, Vadim Leukhin, Ilya Artamonov, Aleksandr Leukhin, Vyacheslav Vybornov) contribute a historical atmosphere to the exhibition.

A full-size miniature of the modern urban construction to a scale of 1:320, historical miniature of the city in the 18 th century to a scale of 1:400 and miniature of the city with its surrounding area of the era of the Khanate of Kazan to a scale of 1:1,000 occupy the third floor of the building. A thin two-sided screen that a transmits a cartoon about the history of Tatar with a story and music is above every miniature. The history is clear, available and very interesting.

The miniature of the central part of modern Kazan is also interesting. Its surface has about 7,000 buildings with all infrastructure. The miniature completely copies the natural form of the urban terrain. Every building had its own project with an individual elevation. All miniatures of houses are an exact copy of their originals. Buildings were collected by hand, details of the landscape were made individually. Looking at this miniature, one can observe one day of Kazan's life: it has lighting that turns on according to the scenario of the history transmitted on the screen when told about this exhibit. 6,000 small street lamps were installed for lighting; 350 metres of LED strip lights were used for indoor lighting of the houses. Architects, artists who total over 40 people created the miniature.

6,000 small street lamps were installed for lighting; 350 metres of LED strip lights were used for indoor lighting of the houses

To take a photo with Syuyumbike and eat in old Tram

The centre can gladden its visitors with unusual leisure zones. For instance, there is an amusement Flight Above the City where people can have a bird's-eye view of photos of the panoramic shooting of Kazan on a 8-metre screen. A visitor can approach an image on the screen with a joypad and change the angle.

In the era of Instagram, Augmented Reality is interesting. Guests will be able to stand together with Peter the Great or Syuyumbike and take a selfie with historical figures. Fans of history will be carried away by an interactive contest dedicated to the history of Kazan. They can answer its questions on the screens located on the floors.

Little visitors of the complex were also taken into account. In the kid's zone, children can play an exciting video game where they help a Tatar knight to win tale monsters or use a game console.

Moreover, having such dimensions, the complex invented an unusual café called Tram where people can taste Tatar cuisine.

''The café was created like a tram of the beginning of the 20 th century,'' tells director of City Panorama Olga Valeyeva. ''The tram completely copies the design of that time. People can see the route of the trip from a seat near the ticket inspector. Due to the design, it seems that it is a trip in old Kazan.''

Guests will be able to stand together with Peter the Great or Syuyumbike

Repay within 12 years

As Bolshakov says, installations with different plots (late 19 th and early 20th centuries) will appear in the hall of the panoramic film. People can acquaint with them on breaks between sessions.

First Construction Administration became the contractor general of the project. Investors of the project (Svyazinvestneftekhim AO and Publishing House) spent 510 million rubles to create the complex. The construction took 2,5 years. But the creation of the ''filling' of the project is quite a long process, Bolshakov explains. The building can accommodate 120 visitors at once. The price for a standard ticket is 500 rubles. Pensioners, students and veterans can purchase it for 250 rubles. As for the payback of the project, in Bolshakov's opinion, it will take 12 years.

''We hope that about 270 people will visit the complex per day. About 100,000 people are expected to visit us in a year (if now the tourist traffic is 2,5 million people, it is at least 5%; moreover, there are people who want to visit the complex). Consequently, we will repay this project within 12 years.''

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By Dilyara Akhmetzyanova. Photo: Oleg Tikhonov