Top
Phoenix Tour Armenia / Blog & News  / The last Armenian king is not buried in Armenia

The last Armenian king is not buried in Armenia

Leon V, or Levon V (1342-1393), of the House of Lusignan, was the last king of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia. Leon was described as “Leo V, King of Armenia” on his own personal seal (Sigilum Leonis Quinti Regis Armenie), and as “Leo of Lusignan the Fifth” in the Middle French inscription on his cenotaph: “Leon de Lizingnen quint”

The Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia had served for almost three centuries as a bastion of Christianity in the Near East, collaborating with Crusades and Crusaders. The Kingdom of Cilicia ended in 1375 with the deposition of Leon.

The last king of Armenian Cilicia, Leon V couldn’t withstand the siege on the capital Sis by the Egyptian Mamelukes, a powerful sultanate of the time. Realizing the futility of further resistance, Leon put a stop to it and was taken to Cairo along with his family, Catholicos Poghos I, and the majority of the Cilician princes. He was kept in captivity in Cairo until 1382, when he was ransomed with the generosity of Spanish kings.

Upon arriving to Europe, he was given the Lordship over Madrid, Villareal and Andujar. There still exists a community of Calle León V de Armenia in the Spanish capital today.

The exiled King Leon spent much of the following years going from court to court in Western Europe. He tried to serve as a diplomat mediating between France and England, in the hopes of leading a drive to liberate Cilicia, but without success. Leon V never recovered his throne, and died in Paris on November 29, 1393.

The remains of the last Armenian king rest in the Basilica of St. Denis, France, alongside other members of French monarchy.

King Leon V
Leon V, or Levon V (1342-1393), of the House of Lusignan, was the last king of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia.
King Leon V
The remains of the last Armenian king rest in the Basilica of St. Denis, France, alongside other members of French monarchy.
King Leon V
Original tomb of Leon V, in the Couvent des Célestins, Paris. In 1815, a new cenotaph was established for Leon V at the royal Saint Denis Basilica.
King Leon V
Leon was described as "Leo V, King of Armenia" on his own personal seal (Sigilum Leonis Quinti Regis Armenie), and as "Leo of Lusignan the Fifth" in the Middle French inscription on his cenotaph: "Leon de Lizingnen quint"
King Leon V
Tomb of Leon V of Armenia, at the Basilique Saint-Denis, France.
King Leon V
Tomb of Leon V of Armenia, at the Basilique Saint-Denis, France.