Chistopol is a unique old merchant city: All monuments of architecture are located on two main streets, and the city itself is the geographical center of Tatarstan. Chistopol is located 144 kilometers from Kazan, the city's area is over 19 square kilometers, and the population totals about 60 thousand people.
The first mention of the village of Chistoe Pole (the Open Field) appeared in the annals in the late 17th — early 18th Century. There is a version that the first settlers were fugitive peasants or schismatics who created a free settlement that was burned, and only an open field remained in its place. The village was restored, and got its name in memory of the great burn. In 1761, by decree of Empress Catherine II, the village was given the status of a district town of Chistopol. By the end of the 19th Century — the beginning of the 20th Century, Chistopol turned into a big merchant city, the center of grain trade.
Thanks to its historical past, Chistopol managed to keep the unique atmosphere of a district town, preserving old merchant houses with ornate lanterns and delicate balconies. The guests of the city and its residents enjoy walking along its streets paved with stone blocks.
One of the architectural landmarks of Chistopol is Melnikov's house, hosting an art salon and a children's library. An old mansion owned by the merchant A.A. Poduruyev has an exposition of the Museum of the district town. Another decoration of the city is the St. Nicholas Cathedral, built at the expense of the merchants Polyakovs in 1838 and the Skaryatinsky Garden, founded in 1867 by local merchants. Not far from Chistopol the remains of the Golden Horde city of Dzhuketau (X-XV centuries) have been preserved.
During the Great Patriotic War, the city became a haven for the Union of Soviet Writers and Poets — here lived Leonid Leonov, Arseniy Tarkovsky, Marina Tsvetaeva, Anna Akhmatova, Mikhail Maximov and Boris Pasternak, who began writing his «Doctor Zhivago» here, in a cozy town in the very center of Tatarstan.
In 1990 Chistopol was included in the list of historical settlements of the Russian Federation, and in 2014 the Chistopol State Historical and Architectural Museum and Heritage Site was created there.
Official Tourist Portal of the Republic of Tatarstan / http://visit-tatarstan.com