Floating Church on the Pirate Ship

Floating Church of St. Nicholas is the only one orthodox church, which was located on the ship “Pirate”, that sailed in  1910-is in the Caspian sea.


In the early XX century on the Caspian sea, existed a “floating city“, that consisted of hundreds of barges, schooners, offices with a staff and the population to 100 thousand people. The shallow water did not allow ships to reach Astrakhan (biggest city and port in 220 km from the sea), and the majority of people did not set foot on shore for 7-8 months. So the sailors and fishermen could pray, eparchy bought a steamboat called “Pirate” and built a fire-domed temple on it, equipped with all necessary utensils, icons and bells.

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Since 1908 the floating Church visited remote areas, stopping for 1-3 days. All the workers were waiting for its arrival since the beginning of the fishing season to autumn, then the ship stood on wintering in the port of Astrakhan. The Church weathered many storms and never got hurt. After five navigations and October revolution domes were removed, and the ship was converted into a floating theater at the disposal of the fishermen, initially called “Joseph Stalin” and later “Morana“. In the 1960-is it became a hostel.


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