The mysterious disappearance of the ancient city of Kitezh still remains a mystery for historians and archaeologists. The legends and legends associated with this city continue to live in the hearts of people and attract the attention of researchers from all over the world. In search of Russian Atlantis, as Kitezh is called, many travelers go to Lake Svetloyar, hoping to see the ghostly outlines of the city underwater.
The first written mention of Kitezh was found in the Kitezh Chronicle, written by Old Believers in the late 18th century. According to this chronicle, the city of Little Kitezh was founded in the early 13th century by Prince George, Grand Prince of Vladimir. Later, on the shore of Lake Svetloyar, the city of Big Kitezh was founded. Both cities were holy and had a round shape surrounded by walls with loopholes.
However, in 1238, a bitter test awaited the city of Kitezh. The Mongol Khan Batu, the founder of the Golden Horde, learned about the mighty city and decided to capture it. The Mongols besieged Little Kitezh, but Grand Duke George was able to defend the city and escape in the direction of Big Kitezh. However, the location of the latter remained a mystery to the Mongols.
Captives and the mystery of disappearance
Batyi ordered to torture the captives to give away the location of the Great Kitezh. But the captives could not withstand the torture and revealed the secret ways to Lake Svetloyar. According to legend, the Grand Prince hid church utensils in the lake and then died in battle. By God’s will, the city became invisible, and only water and forest remained in its place.
Many centuries later, legends about the invisible city of Kitezh continue to live in the hearts of people. According to one legend, the entire city plunged into the lake at the will of God to prevent its treasures from falling into the hands of the Mongols. Lake Svetloyar was even nicknamed the Russian Atlantis. During the siege, the Mongols watched the city disappear underwater, the last thing they saw was the white gleaming dome of the cathedral with the cross.
Despite the mystical legend, the disappearance of the city of Kitezh probably had a more prosaic explanation. Some archaeologists speculate that the city may have suffered a landslide, causing it to fall into the lake. This would explain the fact that only water and forest are now visible in its place.
However, despite the scientific explanation, many people still believe in the mysteries and riddles of Kitezh. Pilgrims still visit Lake Svetloyar, hoping to hear the sounds of church bells or see the ghostly outlines of the city underwater. They pray and leave offerings in the hope of a blessing from the inhabitants of the invisible city.
Myth or reality?
The question of the existence of Kitezh is still open. Historical and archaeological research continues, and scientists are striving to find answers to many questions. But despite all efforts, Russian Atlantis remains a mystery that continues to attract people’s curiosity and imagination.