Chak-chak Museum in Kazan, description and expositions

Chak-chak Museum in Kazan

Tatar cuisine is famous for its pastries and complicated names of dishes for the ear. But this, of course, does not stop gastro-enthusiasts. More and more people, going to Tatarstan, want to discover all facets of the national cuisine.

When planning such a gastronomic tour, visit the Chak-chak Museum in Kazan, dedicated to the main delicacy of the whole republic. They will not only feed you with tea and feed you the beloved Tatar sweet, but also teach you how to make it. The museum is located in the Old Tatarskaya Sloboda – a historical area, which is almost entirely composed of merchant houses of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Address: Kazan, Paris Commune Street, 18a

Coordinates: 55.782069, 49.112486.

Working schedule: 10-20 a.m., daily

Official website: muzeino.ru

Chak-chak Museum video excursion

Video: Chak-chak Museum

History

The Chak-chak Museum in Kazan is a private one, created by enthusiasts with their own money. Many of the items that make up the exhibition either belong to the creators’ families or were donated by the townspeople. Now ongoing restoration of some of the rooms of the house in which the museum is located, so not all rooms are open to visitors.

The museum staff are dressed in traditional Tatar costumes. Photo: Chak-chak Museum In the museum shop you can buy not only chak-chak, but also other traditional sweets. Photo: Raushania Suleimanova, commons.wikimedia.org Chak-chak is a traditional Tatar dessert. Photo: chak-chak museum

Interesting facts

  • There is an interesting legend about the origin of chak-chak. In ancient times, Bulgaria was ruled by a great Khan, who once set out to marry off his only daughter. He married not just anyone, but the man who would bring the biggest ransom in gold, a kalym. The young man, who had long been in love with the Khan’s daughter, was not rich. That is why his mother, having gathered the rest of the money, bought some food and cooked an unusual dish – pieces of dough in honey, which from a distance looked like a mountain of gold. The khan was furious at this offering, because the young man deceived him. But as soon as he tasted a piece of unfamiliar dainty, he forgot his anger and started to munch on chak-chak, loudly slurping. Hence, they say, the name of the dish arose.
  • The museum has its own post office. You can choose a postcard with a view of historic Kazan, fill out the address, affix a stamp and immediately throw it in the mailbox.
  • In the museum shop you can buy not only chak-chak, but also other traditional sweets: baursak, Tatar pastila, somehowsh.
  • The old saying goes that a Tatar may not eat, but he will definitely drink tea. That’s why at the end of the excursion the guests will be offered fragrant tea, the herbs for which are gathered by hand.
  • Tours of the museum are in Russian, Tatar and English.
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What to see

Museum building

Museum occupies a merchant’s mansion from the 19th century. Photo: Chak-chak Museum

The bright, gingerbread house attracts the eye. Chak-chak Museum in Kazan occupies a historical building – it is a merchant’s house of the 19th century, a restored architectural monument. Just as it used to be, there are two entrances here – for men and for women, but everyone enters the museum through the common doors, regardless of gender.

Interiors

The vibrant interior of the museum is like a place for beautiful photographs – you want to take pictures at every step. Photo: Chak-chak Museum

When you get to the Chak Chak Museum, you feel like you’re visiting a wealthy Tatar family from the early 20th century. This feeling will only intensify when you are asked to take off your shoes and wash your hands at the entrance. Guests of the museum listen to a fascinating story about chak-chak in the recreated interior. Fabrics, furniture, dishes – everything here has its own history.

Cooking chak-chak

At the master class you will learn the secrets of cooking the main Tatar sweet. Photo: Nurmukhammad SHAMS, commons.wikimedia.org

Go to the master class, it’s paid for separately, but it’s worth it. You’ll make chak-chak in the kitchen in the company of artisans dressed in traditional Tatar clothing. They will not give you an exact recipe, you will have to mix the ingredients by eye, listening to your own feelings. But the tricks of cooking will be shared with you, and you can repeat the dish at home, too. Master-classes are held in groups of 6-7 people, so a homely atmosphere is guaranteed.

Kazan Chak Chak Museum

Chak-chak Museum in Kazan

Chak-chak Museum in Kazan is named after the national dish – a fragrant sweet chak-chak, which is a symbol of Tatar hospitality. Here you can get acquainted with national customs, legends, and everyday life of Kazan prosperous families who lived 100-150 years ago, and taste the chak-chak, handmade according to an ancient recipe.

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Information about the museum

The exposition was created in 2014 at the initiative and with their own funds of the couple D. Polosin and R. Suleymanova. They restored the life of the Tatar merchant class of the late 19th – early 20th centuries by photos of that time, books of ethnographers-travelers, encyclopedist Kayum Nasyri and other historical documents. D. Polosin and R. Suleimanova told about the traditions of the Tatar people through chak-chak, which is indispensable for Sabantuy, matchmaking, weddings, anniversaries and other festive tea-parties.

Chak-chak, a dish

Chak-chak is a dish that not a single holiday of the Tatar people goes without.

The spouses were awarded state awards for the successful implementation of the idea. And the museum itself, which belongs to the historical, domestic and ethnographic, every year since 2014 wins national and all-Russian tourist competitions.

For example, it took 4 first places in the international gastronomic contest Tour-taste in the categories:

  • “Best Impression”;
  • “Preservation of Traditions”;
  • “Brand of the Year”;
  • “Best Packaging.”

Since 2015, the museum is located at the address: Paris Commune Street, house number 18 – it is the center of Starotatarskaya Sloboda. The museum building is an architectural monument, built in the 30s of the nineteenth century, belonged to the merchant Bigaev. In 2015, it was restored by the Ministry of Forestry. The basement of the house is made of stone, and above it there are 2 floors of wood.

Attendance of the museum is growing: if in the first 2 years 7.5 thousand people came for a tour, then only for 10 days of the New Year vacations in 2019 – 1.4 thousand.

Interior decoration

The entrance to the building is in the courtyard. The two doors in the end used to lead to separate – male and female – halves of the house. The exhibition is located on the second floor, where there is a steep staircase. One should take his shoes off at the entrance. The wooden floor is covered with soft homespun mats.

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Museum interior

The interior of the museum in Kazan.

The main part of the interior items are the originals, the rest are exact copies. The museum has no storage room, and in the rooms where the exhibits are, there are no showcases and fence posts. Objects can be photographed and most are allowed to be touched, tried out in action or viewed by holding them in one’s hands.

These include:

  • kitchen utensils;
  • aprons;
  • hygiene items (wash basins, jugs);
  • carpets;
  • national costumes, men’s skullcaps, kalfaks;
  • furniture (buffet, tables, chairs, chests, tabyn – a table on short legs, benches);
  • embroidered towels;
  • sofa cushions, tablecloths, pillowcases;
  • bedding;
  • suitcases;
  • photographs;
  • women’s jewelry;
  • candlesticks;
  • musical instruments;
  • sewing machine;
  • gramophone;
  • a wall clock with a chime, etc.

Chak-chak museum is not an exhibition of things, but a museum of impressions. The rooms are decorated in such a way that they look lived in, and the sightseers already feel like guests on the doorstep.

Excursions and their prices

Groups are formed of 8-10 people. Guests are greeted by a girl-guide in national costume and, when they are seated around the table, begins the story.

Excursion to the museum, meeting guests

Excursion to the museum, meeting of the guests.

The topics of the excursions change seasonally, the guide tells:

  • in winter – about the ancestors of the Tatars (Bulgars, their traditions, myths and legends);
  • in spring – about national costumes and decorations;
  • in summer – about wedding ceremonies;
  • in the fall – about the Hay market, which was located on the Paris Commune Street 200 years ago (until 1927 it was called the Hay Street).

The visitor can wear the national costume and take pictures in it. In the second room is a table with tea and chak-chak. You can also try other sweets. The tour lasts 1 hour. It is conducted in Russian, and at the request of visitors – in Tatar or English. The museum provides a lesson of a professional on how to make chak-chak.

  • For adults and children over 14 years old guided tour and tea party on weekdays – 350 rubles, on weekends and holidays – 400 rubles;
  • For children under 14 years old – 50 rubles discount.

There are privileges for labor veterans and disabled people.

On weekdays visitors can use the parking lot for free, on weekends – with payment at the parking lot. It is recommended to sign up for a tour in advance by phone. The museum’s official website presents photos of the exhibit.

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Workshops

Master class can be attended by 6-7 people at a time, the kitchen does not allow to accommodate a larger group. Chak-chak is a deep-fried pieces of unleavened dough, which are then poured and fastened with honey syrup. Masters teach how to prepare the dough, feel its readiness for frying, etc.

Conducting a master class on making chak-chak

Conducting a master class on making chak-chak.

  • for adults and children after 14 – 800 rubles;
  • for children under 14 – 700 rubles.

The master class lasts 1 hour. You can take chak-chak cooked by yourself or drink tea with it in the cozy home atmosphere of the museum.

Culinary shop

The shop is located at the entrance, on the 1st floor of the museum. Here you can buy:

  • chak-chak in designer packaging;
  • baursak, tatli, marshmallow, somehowsh and other Tatar homemade pastries;
  • honey;
  • teas (black, green, herbal, fruit, berry);
  • postcards with a view of Kazan;
  • tableware;
  • handmade souvenirs.

Chak-chak can be stored for up to 3 months.

Working hours and how to get there

The museum is open daily from 10 to 20 hours.

Nearby there are routes:

  • buses – Nos. 1, 6, 10A, 63, 74A;
  • trolleybus № 7.

The distance from the nearest stops to the museum:

  • K. Nasyri Street-175 m;
  • Yunusovskaya Square-1 – 230 m;
  • Kamal Theater-2 – 260 m.

The nearest metro station is Tukai Square. From it you need to exit to Pushkin Street and move so that the lake Nizhny Kaban is on the left side. Behind it there are fountains, sculptures, dedicated to the characters of Pushkin’s fairy tale (Chert and Balda), and the building of Kamal Theater. Go around it on the right and along Moskovskaya Street head in the direction of the minaret of Nurullah Mosque (its green roof is visible from afar). Behind the mosque there is a pedestrian street of Paris Commune.

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