[St. Pachomius Library]


A legendary city of Kievan Rus', which became invisible (or was submerged in a lake) at the time of the Mongol invasions, and continues to exist unseen to this day. The story is especially popular with the Old Believers, since Kitezh is the one place where "pure" pre-Nikonian Russian Orthodoxy presumably continues. But the legend attracts many people, unfortunately including some unpleasant ultra-nationalist types and occult sectarians. Such associations should not be allowed to obscure the fact that to many genuinely devout Orthodox, Kitezh is a symbol of the ideal Holy Russia which ought to exist, or exists in the heart.

Norman Hugh Redington


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