I. An E. government of European Russia, bordering on Viatka, Ufa, Simbirsk, and Nizhegorod; area, 23,727 sq. m.; pop. in 1867, 1,670,337. The surface is generally flat, but in parts undulating and hilly, the S. portion being traversed by inconsiderable branches of the Ural mountains. The principal rivers are the Volga and its affluent the Kama. The forests are very extensive, covering nearly half the surface. The woods abound in bears, wolves, and feathered game. The soil is fertile, and yields large crops of grain, hemp, flax, etc, but is not generally well cultivated. The fisheries are productive, and there are numerous distilleries, tanneries, weaving and spinning establishments, etc. The Russians form nearly one half of the population; the Tartars number about 300,000; the rest of the inhabitants are Tchuvashes of Finnish origin, Tcheremisses, etc. Kazan, with the neighboring governments of Pensa, Simbirsk, Viatka, and Perm, formerly constituted part of the so-called Golden Horde, or the Kiptehak khanate, the country having successively been occupied by Finns, Bulgarians, and Tartars. The khanate was for centuries the terror of Russia, and resisted that power until the middle of the 16th century, when it was conquered by Czar Ivan the Terrible, and annexed as a kingdom to Russia. II. A city, capital of the government and of a circle of the same name, situated on the Kazanka, about 3 m. above its confluence with the Volga, 430 m.
E. of Moscow; pop. in 1867, 78,602, about one fourth of whom were Mohammedans. It consists of the fortified town (Kreml) and the town proper. It contains over 30 churches, 9 convents, and 16 mosques, and is renowned for its numerous educational and literary institutions, including a university, opened in 1814, which has a special importance from the attention given in it to the study of living Asiatic languages. It possesses many important manufactories of cloth, woollen, leather, soap, and iron, and an extensive trade, being the great emporium of the commerce between Russia and Siberia. Near Kazan is the Semiozernoi convent, with a miracle-working madonna, the patroness of the city, which is annually in July brought in procession to the city and exhibited in the Kreml. Kazan was destroyed by fire in 1815 and again in 1842, but it has risen from its ashes more prosperous and better built than ever.
Semiozernoi Convent, Kazan.