The complex of the Cathedral of the Annunciation

Close to the complex of the Governor's Palace lies the complex of the Cathedral of the Annunciation. The cathedral is the largest building in the Kazan Kremlin and the oldest of the preserved stone constructions in Kazan. It was built in 1561-1562 by the Pskov architects Postnik Yakovlev and Ivan Shiryai in the north-eastern part of the Kremlin: their architectural heritage makes the Kazan Kremlin the most south-eastern point of the spread of the Pskov-Novgorod style monuments in Russia.

The Cathedral of the Annunciacion
Originally, the temple was a five-domed, six-pillar, three-apse church with two chapels connected by a porch, which curved round the central tube-shaped space of the church. Built of white stone, the cathedral survived many fires and subsequent reconstructions. In 1694 the narrow windows of the cathedral were widened, and the interiors were decorated by frescoes. At the same time, a five-tier belfry was built on the south-western part of the cathedral porch. The domes, which earlier were helmet-shaped, were refurbished in 1736.

The inner columns of the Cathedral of the Annunciation are round, like those of the Cathedral of Dormition in the Moscow Kremlin; trumpet vaults were used instead of the usual pendentive passages to the main cupola - a device peculiar to Oriental architecture and unique in church-building of the period. The sanctuary part of the cathedral has preserved 16th-17th century interiors; the walls in the church and the refectory are painted in oils dating from the 19th century.

The complex of the Cathedral of the Annunciation along with the Bishop's House and the Consistory gradually formed the power base of the Orthodox Church in the conquered Kazan province. The Bishop's House, built in 1829 on the site of the demolished 17th century house of the bishops of Kazan, served as the urban residence of the head of the Orthodox Church of the province.

The Consistory *

The Consistory closes the complex of the Cathedral of the Annunciation from the south, its south-eastern wing adjoining the Consistory Tower. The main house is located along the main street of the Kremlin in line with the Public Offices. The eastern wall of the court building includes remains of the 12th-13th century wall of white stone.

* Note: The Consistory is the spiritual administrative and judicial body under the diocesan pontiff.