Kasimov is situated in the middle of Meshcherskaya Lowlands, 160 km from the regional center, on the elevated left bank of the Oka river, which forms a steep slope 42 meters high above the river level at the historic part of the town. From May till September a passenger wharf is installed in the quay area to serve tourist motorships.
Kasimov was founded by the Prince of Suzdal Yuriy Dolgorukiy in 1152 as a defensive base for the Finnish Slavonic tribes, settled here. The original name of the town was Gorodets Meshcherskiy, and it served as a stronghold for the Vladimir-Suzdal princedom boundaries protection. From 1376 till 1471 its name was Noviy Nizovoy.
The period from the middle of the XV century till short of the end of the XVII century is remarkable for Kasimov history. In 1452 Moscow Prince Vasiliy II Tyomniy (Vasiliy the Blind) gave the town as a domain to Kasim-Khan, who had fled from Kazan. For his faithful devotion to Russian people the town was renamed in his honour in 1471. Owning to formation the Kasimov Tatar Khanate in Meshcherskiy area with Kasimov as a capital, the Tatars from the Crimea, Kazan and other areas had come here. Kasimov apanage domain existed for more than 200 years under direct dependence on the Grand Prince of Moscow.
During that period there was deep mutual penetration between Russian and Tatar cultures. The appearance of the town and its suburbs had changed. Kasimov is the only place where one can remark the amicable neighborhood of mosque and orthodox churches and Russian and Tatar language, and where the customs of both peoples fit well into modern town citizensí life.
«Russian Samovar» Museum
The museum keeps about 300 different exhibit items, representing the four centuries of Russian tea-drinking tradition. The progenitor of all the collection is one of the first-ever samovars, made by Nazar Lisitsin Tula manufactory in 1778. There are also samovars of other manufactories: Batashyov, Teyle, Malikov brothers manufactories, Dubynin St.Petersburg manufactory and some others. There are many samovars of different size: from huge samovars with the capacity of 4 vedro (10-12 litres), which were used at railway stations, to a miniature ones with the capacity of merely one glass (200 ml).
Address: Kasimov, Sovetskaya St, 4
Tel.: (49131) 3-37-80
Sobornaya Square an alfresco museum. Since ancient times it has been an administrative, civic and business center of the town. That is the place where most of merchantsí manors are situated. The architectural appearance of the square was designed by a local self-taught architect I.S.Gagin in the beginning of the XIX century and is extant in a fair preservation.
The Trading Arcade (1818-1824) is the most outstanding architect Gaginís creation and a symbol of an enriched Kasimov merchantry, was the most important building for the town.
Kasimov is one among few Russian towns that has kept the Trading arcade in a fair preservation. Monumental and significant, it is still the squareís ornament and a curious piece of the first half of the XIX century civil architecture.
The Nastavinsí House — a monument of the XIX century architecture. The house was built in 1813 and belonged to a town-provostís wife princess Putyatina. It was named after the former owners — merchants Nastavins.
The Alyanchikovsí House — a three-floor mansion, built in the end of the first decade of the XIX century, belonged to an eminent citizen, publican Ivan Osipovich Alyanchikov. Huge on a scale of a district town, the Alyanchikovsí house has always been one of the focus buildings of Kasimov. In its time it clearly demonstrated the power and consequence of the family it belonged to, and after the kin extinction in Kasimov in the end of the XIX century it has kept the kinís name for the future generations. Nowadays the house hosts the Kasimov Museum of Local Lore.
Voznesenskiy Cathedral (Ascension Cathedral) (1864) was built upon the project of an architect N.I. Voronikhin, famous architect A.N. Voronikhin nephew. The cathedral is eclectic in style: there are elements of an Old Russian architecture. Tzar Alexey Mikhailovich Romanov gave the cathedral the icon of John the Forerunner and the Gospel as a present.
Blagoveshchenskaya Church (Annunciation Church) (1740) encounters town visitors at the Sobornaya Square entrance. The architecture belongs to the Old Russian style. In the church there are kept the Tikhvin icon of Divine Mother and the Trinity icon.
Uspenskaya Church (Dormitory Church) (1775), like everything in Kasimov, was made of wood and burnt several times during fires happened in the town. In 1775 Kasimov merchant Maxim Alexandrovitch Milovanov obtained an admittance to build a stone church. The baroque church was built with all the finery peculiar to rich Kasimov mercenary: a multistage bell tower, wide stairs and different annexes. The church also has Old Russian architect elements.
The Barkovsí House is a federal monument of architecture. The house was built by an extraordinary architect, and nowadays it is one of the most remarkable Kasimov Empire monuments. In its time the Barkovsí manor was one of the Kasimov high life centers, where soirees and festivals took place. In the middle of the XIX century the Barkovs were among the main holders of estate in Kasimov.
Merchants Kostrovsí manor was built at the turn of the XVIII-XIX centuries as a typical urban merchants manor. It was developed taking into account its commercial significance: apart from the house, situated in the heart of the yard, there situated several stone industrial buildings. The manor project author is Kasimov architect I.S. Gagin.
Shishkinsí House (the middle of the 1820s) is a sample of a rich but typical urban merchants manor, exemplary for a town in the XIX century.
Mosque with minaret
The Khan mosque with minaret (XV-XIX) is a unique monument of architecture and history of Kasimov. The minaret , the oldest stone building of the town, is the monument of the Kasimov princedom period.
A high circular tower minaret preserved the antiquity features and looks very much alike with the minaret in Bulgar. Inside there is narrow spiral stairs, leading to the viewing point, where formerly a muezzin voice was heard, nowadays the building hosts the part of the Kasimov Museum of Local Lore thus one can enjoy a picturesque view of Kasimov from the viewing point. The minaret has preserved without any significant change, thus is of great importance.
The building hosts one of the Kasimov Museum of Local Lore exposition — «the Ethnography of Kasimov Tatars».