Old Russian flooded cities

There are many interesting pages in Russian history. One of them is the fate of cities that no longer exist. And although the reasons for their disappearance can be very different, perhaps one of the most interesting is the history of those settlements that, as strange as it may sound, ended up at the bottom.

Only legends have remained about some of them, while others still do not allow themselves to be forgotten. We bring to your attention the “five” Russian cities that were under water and may bear the title of “Russian Atlantis”.

Mologa. Old Russian cities that were deliberately flooded
Mologa. Old Russian cities that were deliberately flooded

Old Russian cities that were deliberately flooded: Mologa

Perhaps it will be difficult to find a more famous ancient Russian city, which was flooded in Soviet times.

Mologa was located at the mouth of the river of the same name, where it flows into the Volga. The first mention of the city dates back to 1149 as the center of the Molozhsky principality, which later became part of the Russian state.

However, the centuries-old history did not save Mologa from flooding as part of the construction of the Rybinsk reservoir. People were given five whole years to leave the city – from 1936 to 1941, and after the war, in 1946, it was flooded.

But this ghost town, and seventy-five years after its disappearance under water, does not allow itself to be forgotten.

Every year, when the reservoir becomes shallow, the walls of the buildings and temples of the city, the remains of fences and even cobbled pavements are shown on the surface. And those who previously lived in this sunken city, and their relatives, during this period come to the coast of the Rybinsk reservoir to remember their ancestors who lived in Mologa.

Moreover, from under the water sometimes even part of the cemetery with monuments is shown, where the names of the former inhabitants of the ancient city are indicated.


Panorama of the town of Korchev, which remained only in old photos
Panorama of the town of Korchev, which remained only in old photos

Another old Russian city, which was located on the banks of the Volga. Korchev’s story is in many ways reminiscent of the aforementioned Mologa.

During the Soviet period, among other things, they also planned to build the Moscow-Volga canal in 1932. It was in the flooding zone of this object that Korcheva got.

By 1937, the city was excluded from the official register of settlements. And this despite the fact that at least a third of the territory of Korchev remained on the surface. However, the city still disappeared from the face of the earth: houses were dismantled, churches were simply destroyed, and all residents were resettled.


kalyazin. Old Russian cities that were deliberately flooded
kalyazin. Old Russian cities that were deliberately flooded

The first information about the city of Kalyazin is found in the chronicles of the 12th century as a monastery settlement. And in the 15th century, he was immortalized in the text of the famous work of the Russian traveler Afanasy Nikitin called “Walking Beyond Three Seas.”

However, this city remained only in old records and photos. In 1939-1940, as part of the construction of the Uglich hydroelectric power station, the old part of the city was flooded. So, churches, a monastery and a cathedral, as well as a trading square, streets, shopping arcades and merchant mansions were under water. The only structure that remains from the authentic Kalyazin is the bell tower, which was left on the surface as a beacon for barges.

Vesyegonsk. Old Russian cities that were deliberately flooded

In the 16th century, this settlement was called Ves Yogonskaya and was a small village. And two centuries later, it has already grown to the city and became Vesyegonsk.

He was also immortalized in Russian literature: a mention of him can be found in Gogol’s Dead Souls. And in the second third of the twentieth century, almost the entire territory of Vesyegonsk was flooded as part of the filling of the Rybinsk reservoir.

However, unlike the aforementioned cities, Vesyegonsk did not completely sink into oblivion: its houses were dismantled before the flooding. And then rebuilt on a hill nearby – in fact, it was simply moved. But the old streets, temples and churches, as well as the foundations of houses, went under the water.

Kitezh. Old Russian flooded cities
Kitezh. Old Russian flooded cities

But Kitezh is the clearest example of a completely lost city that has long become a legend.

So, according to the information preserved in the “Kitezh Chronicle”, dated by the end of the 18th century. The city was located in the Nizhny Novgorod region on the shore of Lake Svetloyar and was erected in 1168.

But everything else that can be found about Kitezh is full of legends and legends. For example, they say that Khan Batu did not manage to capture him, because he simply did not find him. And there is also an opinion that Kitezh is not Atlantis, but rather an underground city. Because it went under the ground, and not under the water.

In any case, there is no exact information about this place. But the legend that sometimes on the surface of Lake Svetloyar you can see the reflections of the legendary Kitezh. And at night you can hear the ringing of its bells, still exist today.