Each nation has its magic, mysterious places described in folklore. Those are places of a spiritual force that mean a connection with ancestors thus with customs & traditions as well as a spiritual rebirth or the Garden of Eden on Earth.
In case of the Russian mythology & culture as a whole this place appeared only in the 18th century. Town Kitezh or Kitezh Grad, as we name it, is something completely unique & pure Russian. This is a mysterious place located beneath waters of Lake Svetloyar somewhere in the Nizhny Novgorod Region. As a rule it is invisible to people, however for true Orthodox Christians & those who bear the authentic Russian spirit in their hearts, it might appear above the waters early in the morning.
Kitezh Grad‘s symbolism is more philosophical & theological. This is a town of hope, prosperous future, the true Eden on Earth we should looking for. It might exist only in Russia, as our philosophers considered, & it would be the path for saving our nation. As the whole Russian culture of the late period (18th-19th centuries) represents a mixture of the strict Orthodoxy, admiration of the Western Europe (France, Germany) & a profound pagan background, Kitezh Grad is a complicated folklore phenomenon indeed. Its essence consists of three contradicting currents, so it is difficult to comprehend which one is responsible for its mystery & moreover what way it is formed.
It is in the core of the Russian philosophy to seek for God, the purpose of life, to suffer for high ideals & ideas, so Kitezh Grad is an imaginary destination a man of the high spirit must follow. Another interesting point is that, no matter its approximate location, Kitezh Grad exists mostly somewhere in the depth of our hearts. It doesn’t have any particular shape, it is invisible, so it means that it belongs to another dimension, to the Eternal life.
There is little information what this town looks like & what expect a man of the high spirit there when he will finally reach it. And this intrigue makes Kitezh Grad even more attractive. Coming out of the lake waters early in the morning a sunlit town leading us towards the true Christian salvation. What a hopeful picture of the better future!