Elabuga is a town located at the confluence of two rivers – Toyma and Kama, 200 kilometres away from Kazan. Founded in the 11th-12th centuries, the town of Elabuga is a perfect example of an old merchant town. It is located on a high cliff which offers a breathtaking panorama of the town. There are numerous legends describing the town’s origin. According to one of them, Elabuga was previously called ‘chyortovo gorodische’ or ‘goddamned town’.
Elabuga will pleasantly surprise tourists with abundance of greenery in the streets and old merchant houses that have been homes for many famous Russian people. Among such houses are the museum of the renowned landscape painter Ivan Shishkin, the estate museum of the cavalry maiden Nadezhda Durova, the first known female officer in the Russian army during the Napoleonic wars, and the House of Memory and Literary Museum of the poet Marina Tsvetaeva who spent her last days in Elabuga.
The Elabuga State Historical, Architectural and Art Museum Preserve also includes the Regional Natural History Complex, Portmoynya Museum (the one and only museum of laundry in the world), Bekhterev Museum of County Medicine and the Arts and Crafts Museum Workshop.
The heart of the town is the Savior Cathedral. It was built in the 17th century instead of the previous wooden church. The cathedral is located in Naberezhnaya Street, a favourite place for a stroll for locals and visitors alike. The street dates back to the 18th century when it was laid out at the edge of a high slope of the Toyma River. It currently winds along the western districts of the town.
Alabuga, the largest special economic zone of industrial and production type in Russia, is situated not far from Elabuga.