Infrastructure of the Kazan Khanate period
Around the city there were vast settlements and villages. One of them called Kuraisheva was situated on the left bank of the river Bulak. The remains of its cemetery were found in the area of modern central market. The other well-known settlement was “Bishbalta” (“Bezhbolda”), where mostly lived carpenters and ship-builders. Here, in a small bay at the river mouth was located the anchorage for military and trade ships of Kazan people. Armenian settlement with its own graveyard was located to the south of the city, right on the hills. In the suburbs of the city there were situated numerous villages and residences of beks and murz. Some of their names remained in the toponymy (place-name study) of the city, for example: Kul-Mametovo (Kul-Muhamed), Ametjevo (Ahmed) and others. According to annals of later periods, residences of Kazan khans, including gardens of Sujumbike were located in the area of the lake Middle Kaban.
Kurbsky wrote in his memoirs: “The fields are rich and fertile here… and villages are numerous”.
The location of the city - behind lakes and swamps, behind slimy river Bulak and at the same time on the hills – made the meaning of Kazan as a fortress ever more prominent.