The concept of this restaurant was created after a legend of the Great Town of Kitezh built by Grand Duke Yuri Dolgoruky in 1165 near the city of Nizhniy Novgorod in the heart of The Russian Land.

This is a story of great saints and men of wisdom.

Kitezh town had received the title of „The Great“ for its beautiful architecture that was near perfect. There had been many Christian temples built of white stone in the town. White stone is a symbol of purity. This material was rare and of high value in the times of Old Rus.

Then came the difficult years of the invasion of Khan Batu.

Kitezh was surrounded by the enemies. But the town did not give up: its inhabitants prayed to His Almighty God, asking for support and protection.

The town was transcendentally plunged into the waters of the sacred lake Svetloyar.

The horror came upon the enemy as they witnessed this miracle. So they ran into the woods away from this place forever.

Зодчий града Китежъ

«Ваятель», холст, масло, 2018 — Андрей Шишкин

Revival of the legend in the Russian Culture

This legend has inspired so many people to create their masterpieces in literature and fine arts. It is believed that only those who are pure in heart and soul, will find their way to Kitezh. They say that sometimes one can hear a sound of the temple bells and the singing of the chorus while sitting and contemplating the calm deep waters of the Svetloyar lake on a perfectly still day. Some people refer Kitezh metaphorically as „The Russian Atlantis.“

This legend has led ashore the Svetloyar Lake many great people, artists, writers, musicians.

Pavel Melnikov-Pechersky, a XIX-century writer has written two pieces of literature inspired by the legend of Kitezh: a novel „In the Woods“, a story „Grisha“.

The lake had been visited by Maxim Gorky (essay „Hill“), Vladimir Korolenko (a series of essays „In desert places„), Michael Prishvin (essay „Bright Lake“). Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov wrote the opera „Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh“ аbout the mysterious town.

And during our days the great musician Maestro Valery Gergiev has put it on the stage of The Bolshoi Theatre. The Lake attracted masters of fine arts Nikolai Romadin, Ilya Glazunov, and many others. Poets of Russian „Silver Age“ Akhmatova and Tsvetaeva mention the town of Kitezh in their high-flown lyrics.

Currently Svetloyar lake and its surroundings are part of the national nature reserve, and have UNESCO protection.