‘Cilicia’ merchant sailing ship arrives in St Katherine’s Dock 5/25


Armenian Community & Church Council of Great Britain
PO Box 46207
London W5 2YE
Contact: Armenag Topalian
Tel: +44 (0)1793 790070
Email: [email protected]

The ‘Cilicia’ – a XIII century Armenian merchant sailing ship arrives in St
Katherine’s Dock on 25th May 2006 and will dock there until 28th May.

Exquisitely designed and reconstructed from ancient manuscripts, the Cilicia
has sailed by the medieval trade-routes around Europe, via the Black Sea,
the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean to arrive in London before its
return journey. She will depart on the Sunday on a challenging route that
will take her to Calais, Bruges, Antwerp, Amsterdam, Bremerhaven,
Copenhagen, Rugen Island, Gdansk, Gotland Island, Stockholm, Tallinn,
Helsinki, St Petersburg and then by the Volga Canal to the Black Sea port of

A genuine replica from the ancient Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, now in
present-day Turkey and Syria, the ship-builders and crew have done
everything to keep the ship authentic in style, using the techniques and
tools available in that era. The crew also follow, as much as possible, the
life-style of medieval sailors, from the navigational tools used to the
bright historical costumes worn. A simple and elegant structure with a
triangular sail make the Cilicia a stunning sight – a rare treat to be able
to see in central London!

The Cilicia has followed the exact merchant routes of the XIII century –
creating the feeling of a journey back in time. The geographical route of
the ship, passing through Ports in Lebanon, Turkey and Syria – launched from
the port of Poti in Georgia having been transported there by road from
Armenia – give it an exotic and romantic feel. The boat docking in over 30
ancient ports conjures up pictures of those bustling trade ports of the
medieval era. Just think what spices, delicacies, jewels and textiles would
have arrived in London with the boat at that time! Armenian merchants were
renowned for their links throughout the world, from their homeland in the
Caucuses through the Middle East, Far East and Europe.

11 years of toil to build the ship in the foothills of Mount Ararat and to
sail it from a now land-locked Armenia, – surrounded by Turkey, Georgia,
Iran and Azerbaijan, show the real passion with which this fantastical idea
of Cilicia’s creators and sailors were able to realize their dream. A real
Noah’s Ark of a boat – as an Armenian boat once again takes to the waters
after centuries!


19 May Presentation by Captain Balayan at CAIA Hayashen (12:00)

21 May Presentation by Captain Balayan to Tahtayan Sunday School
Presentation by Captain Balayan at Navasartian
Centre (16:00)

25 May Opening of London Tower Bridge & entry to St Katherine
Docks (12:30)
Visits to boat
Armenian Institute Evening Function (18:30)

26 May Visits to boat

27 May Armenian Language Saturday School Visit (10:30)
Armenian Students Association “Hye Seas” Visit

28 May Departure Ceremony in the presence of Lady Cox &
Ambassador Gabrielyan

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress


You may also like

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS