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Cilicia sailing ship

  • Artanish, Gegharkunik
  • From Yerevan 115 km
  • Google Maps
  • January - December

Cilicia sailing ship

In 1985, a group of young people came up with a crazy idea to build a replica of a merchant ship of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia in mountainous Armenia and sail it along the sea trade routes of medieval Europe. Unfortunately, not a single sample of these ships survived, and the only source of information was medieval manuscripts and miniatures. The detailed research lasted about 6 years, as a result of which it was possible to restore the appearance of the sailboat. Then, in 1991, the construction of the ship began using the technologies of medieval shipbuilding.It was planned to be built in a few years, but the work took much longer.11 years of hard work paid off and on May 25, 2002 the sailboat was launched in Lake Sevan. The ship was named "Cilicia".

However, the construction of "Cilicia" was only part of the dream: it was necessary to test the ship at sea, evaluate its real seaworthiness and repeat the medieval route. Before going to sea, it was decided to test the ship in Lake Sevan. There are quite strong winds in Sevan, and short and frequent waves constantly hit the ships, which not only make it difficult to control the ships, but can damage them. After 2 years of successful trials, "Cilicia" was ready to go to sea. With the help of a special evacuator along mountain roads, the ship was delivered from Lake Sevan to the port of Poti in Georgia.

In 2004, sailing called "Journey through the Seven Seas" begins from there. In 3 years, it crossed the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, the Baltic Sea, and then returned to the Black Sea through the rivers of Russia. Overcoming many storms, the "Cilicia" sailing ship covered 28000 km, stopped at 63 ports in 25 countries of Europe and Asia,, where they were welcomed not only by locals, but also by representatives of the local Armenian community. During the sailing, the crew of 6 maintained the medieval lifestyle, food and clothing, which further increased people's interest.

Having completed the journey in 2006, "Cilicia" returns from Batumi to its native Lake Sevan. The legendary ship now stands not far from the shore of the Artanish Gulf, in the territory of the resort center of Port Ayas, where it is under constant protection and care.
The "Cilicia" sailing ship is waiting for its visitors, who can get to know the ship up close, as well as meet and talk with the captain Karen Balayan.

It is noteworthy that, in addition to the sea journey, the ship also made a long land journey. Most likely, his sea journey is over, but another land route is expected: there is a plan to create a museum of Armenian shipbuilding, where the "Cilicia" will be located. The museum will become a safer place for "Cilicia", where it will have better conditions of preservation than in the open air. In addition to the "Cilicia", the rich exhibits and materials collected by the "AYAS" Nautical Research Club since 1985 will have a place in the museum.