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The Kazan river port is one of the key shipping centres and the biggest port in the Tatarstan Republic which is connected with the Baltic, the White, the Caspian, the Azov and the Black Seas due to common deep-water system in the European part of Russia. That is why the port is also known as "A port of five Seas".
Kazan has always been one of the biggest shipping centres in Volzhskiy region.
It is well known that there have been spring fairs carried out in the XV century close to Kazan, on the so called Volzhskiy shopping island.
After having joined the Russian Kingdom, the Volga region attracted merchant ships, that would start their journey in spring from Nizhniy Novgorod to Astrakhan and then go up the Volga river in autumn.
A small town near Kazan, also known as Bishbalta, situated by the mouth of the Kazanka river, close to the Uspenskiy cloister, was famous for its shipbuilding masters and was generally the center of local shipbuilding industry. In 1710 they built the whole squadron for the Baltic navy, that comprised five ships - "the Eagle", "the Sun", "the Crescent", "the North Star" and "Kazan City", after that they built some more ships for the Caspian Sea.
In 1718 Peter I decreed to create an Admiralty on the left bank of the Kazanka river, by the Bishbalta village. The Emperor himself inspected the Kazan Admiralty in 1722.
During the next hundred years, Kazan had been the hugest centre of shipbuilding industry in the Volga region. The majority of warships for Russo-Persian War of 1722-1723 had been built right there.
In the XVIII century the Admiralty town was found by that shipyard.
The Russian monarchs coming to Kazan visited it along the Volga river. In May, 1767 the city welcomed the rowing flotilia ("Tver", "Volga", "Yaroslavl", "Kazan", "Uglitch", "Kostroma", "Nizhniy Novgorod", "Simbirsk", "Rzhev Vladimirov", "Lema", "Sevostiyanovka" and "Voma"), there was the Empress of Russian Empire, Catherine II, accompanied by her retinue of 1122 people, "those of navy, artillery, soldiers’ and admiralty".
In October, 1817 Kazan received two steamboats of 8 and 36 HP (horsepower) accordingly, they were built by V.A. Vsevolozhskiy, who was an owner of Pozhevskiy railway enterprise. Those were the first steamboats on the Volga river.
The steamboat waterway opening on the Kama and Volga rivers had increased the significance of the city and made it a huge entrepot trade center. At the end of the XIX century, Kazan dock was the second biggest after the Nizhniy Novgorod’s one.
During the World War II, many civilians and enterprises were evacuated to Kazan, a great deal of military cargos had been sent along the waterway to the battle-front, especially to the besieged Stalingrad. On the 19th of July, in 1941 Kazan dock was entrusted the Red Banner by state Committee of Defense of USSR.
According to Z. A. Shashkov, the river craft Minister of USSR, in April, 1948 the Kazan dock was transferred into the Kazan river port.
In July, 1948 the Kazan dockers started the sand and gravel mining on the Volga river, not far from the Yumatikha region. The first floating steam cranes have started mining from the bottom of the Kama river, in Laishev region.
In 1950, the State Institute of river transport design drew up a project of Kazan river port renewal. In October, 1952, the project of building a whole new port as well as the process of redesigning, and reequipping a number of Kazan docks was affirmed.
On the 20th of December, in 1957, the first buildings of the port were accepted by the State commission and then put into operation. The building facilities of a new port (warehouses, gantry cranes, charging station, mechanical repair shops, etc.) had been put into operation as long as they were ready, that process lasted up to June the 8th, 1964, when the State Commission signed the approved papers and admitted a new Kazan river port.
Many soviet artists like N.D. Kuznetsov (1923—1974), N.N. Galakhov often dedicated their art to Kazan river port.
In order to preserve our history, we decided to create a museum of "Tatflot". The idea was found by an experienced sailor, captain Alexander Vlasenko, who has been gathering the historical facts, dated back to the X century, when the data about Tatarstan docks was first mentioned. Today our museum is open for all comers. Kazan river port has a rich history we should be pride of.