Kasan is the capital of the autonomous republic of Tatarstan in the Russian Federation and is situated at the confluence of the Kasanka and Volga rivers, some 750 kilometres east of Moscow. The first written record of this ancient city, with its many historic buildings, is to be found in a 12th-century document. Of particular note are the Kasan Kremlin (UNE SCO World Heritage building) and St. Peter and Paul's Cathedral. The city has a population of over a million and has developed into one of the largest industrial, scientific and cultural centres in the Russian Federation. Compressors, metrological instruments, medical equipment, electronic calculators, optical instruments and aeroplanes are produced there. Furs from Kasan enjoy a worldwide reputation. Kasan boasts a famous university, which is almost 200 years old, more than 15 colleges with some 100,000 students, three theatres, a state music conservatoire and several museums. Kasan's large harbour, dating from the sixties, offers summer cruises on the Volga.
The friendship agreement reached in 1988 was preceded by lively school- and youth exchanges, the first ever to take place between the Federal Republic of Germany and the then USSR. The agreement was signed in Kasan on 7 August 1988 and in Braunschweig on 5 October 1988. Since then there have been annual exchanges of pupils between schools in the two cities. Activities between the two cities are many and various. There are hardly any groups of citizens who are not involved. The people of Braunschweig were able to form an impression of Tatar life during Kasan Week in Braunschweig in May 1989, comprising folklore performances by Tartar song- and dance ensembles, fashion shows and a gastronomy week. In return, Braunschweig presented a varied cultural programme in Kasan one year later. In September 1994, Braunschweig took part in Kasan's "German Information- and Cultural Days" with a photo exhibition and performances by a music group and a puppet theatre. Despite the distance of more than 3000 kilometres separating the cities, many personal friendships have been formed. This is an important contribution to international understanding.
School exchanges Cultural programmes with exhibitions, theatre, dance and music