The Tower Syuyumbike in Kazan

Address: Kazan Kremlin.
How to get there: metro station "Kremlin", by trolley bus number 2,
or bus № 6, 15, 29, 35, 37, 47, 74, 75, 98 - stop "Central stadium".

History and architecture of the tower Syuyumbike

Unfortunately, the date of the building of the tower Syuyumbike is unknown, because the historical documents were lost. Some documents were burned in a fire in Moscow in 1701, others - during the capture of Kazan by the troops of Ivan the Terrible in 1552. The first mention of the tower is dated of 1777 year, in the description of the Kazan Kremlin. However, the archaeological excavations of the tower, which were carried out in the Soviet period, suggested that, most likely, the Suyumbike tower was built in the middle of XVII century on the place of khan’s towers. People, who supports this idea, believe that it is possible that the tower was built on the site of another, which was earlier constructed here in the Khan's period. Perhaps, it was the mosque Nur-Ali (Muraleevoy), which could serve as a minaret. The tower is located behind the walls of the Kazan Kremlin, and it offers amazing views. It is because of this, for a long period, the tower performed patrol function. Suyumbike tower stands on oak piles, while its walls are made in stone and stapled together with lime mortar. The first three tiers of the tower are squares of different heights. The following two-tier octagonal, the next above is a tent with brick faces and the next is a patrol tower with high green spire. The tower’ height is 58 meters. It belongs to the so-called "Leaning Towers", such as for example, a well-known Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Legends of the tower Syuyumbike

There are several legends about the history of the construction of the tower. So, one of the most beautiful legends says that after the capture of Kazan by Ivan the Terrible, Khan's queen named Syuyumbike, charmed the king, who had proposed to her. Queen Syuyumbike ordered Tsar Ivan the Terrible - to build the highest tower in Kazan in seven days and she would agree to go to Moscow with him, if he would do so. Ivan completed the mission: he built a tower of seven storeys in seven days, which towered above the all Kazan city. Queen Syuyumbike wanted to say goodbye to Kazan before the leaving, she asked to look at the city for the last time, but she didn’t want to leave, so she committed suicide and jumped from the tower. In the direction of her jump, there is an incline. Currently, the incline is already 1.98 meters. Someone says that very reason of the capture of Kazan by the Russian troops was Queen Syuyumbike. Ivan the Terrible was deeply in love with the beautiful queen Syuyumbike. He saw her in the portrait.
According to another version, the Queen Syuyumbike was married three times and lived a long and peaceful life in the town of Kasimov, and apparently, all these events, which are associated with her name, happened before the capture of Kazan by Ivan the Terrible. But there are some facts. According to them, the Queen had a son - Utyamysh Giray. He, with other prisoners, after the capture of Kazan was sent to Moscow as a hostage. He forcibly was baptized at the court of Ivan the Terrible, and he was given the name of Alexander. But Prince Alexander didn’t have a long and happy life. He died being a twenty-year-old boy and was buried in the Moscow Kremlin.
For a long time, there was another legend associated with the Tower Syuyumbike. The fact is that, until 1830 on the steeple of the tower there was a gilded apple, which, according to legend, stored significant Muslim chronicles and documents. But when the apple was opened before the audience of famous Tatars, due to the order of the Minister of Internal Affairs of the Russian Empire, it was empty. Moreover, it wasn’t gold, but it was made of ordinary brass.
Anyway, today the Syuyumbike Tower is a shining symbol of Kazan with other ancient monuments, such as the Kazan Kremlin.