Tatarstan’s thousands of years of culture
Tatarstan has a rich history of civilization going back over a millennium. The earliest known state in the region was set up by the Volga Bulgars, who established a successful trade network stretching from the Baltics to the Middle East.
The Bulgars were conquered by the Mongol khans in 1236, who set up Kazan as one of the key towns of the Volga Bulgaria. Later on Kazan became the capital of the Kazan Khanate, which left the Golden Horde. It finally fell to Ivan the Terrible in 1552, who destroyed all the mosques in the city and forcefully converted the Tatars to Christianity. The Russian Empire then forbid the construction of any mosques until 1776.
The region and the Tatar people remained a proud and rich part of imperial Russia with a history of tolerance.