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Step Back in Time at the Museum of Soviet Life

Promoted as the 'Third Capital of Russia', Kazan is both the capital and largest city of Russia's Republic of Tatarstan and is home to more than 1.1 million people. The city is strategically located at the confluence of the Volga and Kazanka and has featured prominently in the history of the vast country of Russia. While the exact origins of the city are unconfirmed, in 2005 Kazan celebrated its 1000th anniversary by issuing a commemorative medal in honor of the event. Visitors to Kazan will find that there are a host of fascinating attractions to explore, with one of the more unusual being the Museum of Soviet Life.

Located in a former communal apartment which was built in the mid-19th century and previously housed up to twenty people, the Museum of Soviet Life houses a vast collection of items of all descriptions from the 1970s and 1980s. The building itself, with its old-fashioned wiring, light switches, light fittings and cast iron radiators, is a reminder of the time when the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was one of the most powerful political entities on earth. Founded five years after the Russian Revolution ousted the Tsar's monarchy, the USSR – consisting of Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan - was eventually dissolved in late 1991.

The items on display in the Museum of Soviet Life are categorized in four major categories – Soviet Secondary School; Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame; Socialist Art; and Soviet Propaganda Books. As the Soviet Union came to an end, the first director of the museum, Rustem Valiahmetov, identified the need to preserve items which were disappearing from every day use and started to buy up items associated with an era that what passing. At first the collection was kept private, but later it was opened to the public and has become one of Kazan's most popular attractions, with both locals and visitors to the city.

Kazan has been selected as a host city for a number of prestigious international events, including the 2014 World Fencing Championships, the 2015 FINA World Championships, and the 2018 FIFA World Cup. If you are planning a trip to this vibrant Russian city, be sure to visit the Museum of Soviet Life.


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