Whenever I enter a church I feel somewhat strange. On one hand it is not my house of prayer as I am not Christian. Yet, I have a sense of tranquillity and holiness –  in this case Georgians who belong to the Orthodox church. I have visited two beautiful old churches. The first is the 150 years old church St  Nicholas Church  located in the very center of Batumi.

In the 1930s, the St. Nicholas Church suffered the fate of many other religious structures in the whole territory of the Soviet Union. It was closed and delivered to the possession of the government. For almost  20 years, the Church was not used and only  the efforts of the Georgian intelligentsia,  St. Nicholas  was re-opened in 1946. In the same year the first restoration works began financed by donations collected from the Orthodox community of Batumi. The second stage of the restoration works was carried out in 1998-99.

Nowadays the St. Nicholas Church is not only a cultist monument but also one of the city’s most beautiful architectural and historical monuments.

The second spectacular church I visited was the Holy Mother Virgins Nativity Cathedral,  one of the most beautiful churches in Georgia, built in the Gothic style.  This cathedral has a rather sad history, since during the Soviet period it was it was used  for various administrative and economic needs. ignoring its important religious and historical significance.

The cathedral was built 1898-1903. Initially it was built as a Roman Catholic Church (when Adjaria was annexed by the Russian Empire) to serve a flood of foreign citizens, who professed Catholicism, rushed to Batumi. Since the city had no catholic churches in the XIX century,  Catholic believers requested the authorities to build a church in Batumi.

The temple was built with the donations of the believers themselves with one of the main donors was the rich petroleum producer Stefan Zubalashvili. Thanks to his efforts the construction of the temple was completed in 1902 .

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