Legends about Sujumbike
...Once Ivan the Terrible heard about unbelievable beauty of the tsarina Sujumbike and sent his matchmakers to Kazan. The majestic beauty refused the Russian tsar. Then Ivan the Terible decided to use force – he brought a huge army to Kazan and besieged the city. In order to save the citizens, Sujumbike agreed to marry him, on condition that the Russian tsar should build a tall tower in Kazan in 7 days. The tsar accepted the conditions and the erection began. By the end of the 7-th day the tower was ready. Then Sujumbike went upstairs to the top of the tower and jumped down. She preferred death to marriage with the hateful tsar. In commemoration of its glorious daughter the Tatar people called this tower after Sujumbike.
According to another legend, no less poetic, the tower was specially built on the tsarina Sujumbike’s order in commemoration of her husband Safa-Girey. His body lay in the mausoleum next to the tower. According to the witnesses, Sujumbike often prayed at her husband’s coffin, mourning over his death and her destiny. That’s how a Russian chronicler described tsarina Sujumbike parting with Safa-Girey’s grave before she was forcedly sent to Moscow: “She came, broken-hearted, to the mausoleum, crying, embraced the coffin and mourned lamentably, saying: “Oh, the great khan! You don’t know what happened to your beloved wife and our son. So I can tell you! We are given to the cruel Moscow tsar. I couldn’t withstand his force all alone. And there is no one to help me. My dear khan! Hear my bitter weeping and open your dark coffin and take me alive to you. And let your coffin be for the two of us – for you and for me!” The tsarina mourned like this for a long time and even the officer who was appointed to look after her couldn’t help crying, and all the people in the mausoleum cried. And the people Kazan honorably saw her off, remembering her mind, wisdom and care for both noble and poor people.
From the book by Khuzin F.Sh. “Medieval Kazan”, - Kazan: Tatar Publishing House, 2004.