Batumi’s Neo-Gothic Cathedral with century-old priceless frescoes
01 October, 2017
Batumi’s Neo-Gothic Cathedral with century-old priceless frescoes
(1 / 31) Next
Batumi, the seaside capital of Georgia, is notable not only for its incredible landscape and sea, but for many historical and cultural buildings as well. The Church of the Mother of God, present Georgian Orthodox cathedral,
originally built as a Catholic church early in the 1900s by famous Brothers Zubalashvili, a family of Georgian businessmen and benefactors represents one of the most valuable cultural treasure of the city. This former Catholic Church is distinguished for its rare Gothic Revival design, exquisite architecture, heavenly frescoes and stained glass windows. geotv.ge

As it is known Stepane Zubalashvili constructed this incredible church to honor her mother Elisabed, who before passing away asked her son to build a Catholic church in Batumi. Georgian businessman fulfilled his word and precisely for this church in 1897-1902 specially invited Italian painters and architects, who decorated the interior with astonishing frescoes depicting biblical scenes that serve as a real masterpiece. As we discovered from Natia Natsvlishvili, the architectural historian who has been working on this subject and who personally visited the building this summer, in total over 250 000 rubles (Russian currency) were spent for its construction that was quite a big sum at that time.
geotv.ge

The church is built with white stone, has three domes and the interior is masterfully decorated with red stone, golden and blue sophisticated ornaments typical to the Neo-Gothic style. Upon entering the church you find yourself in a heaven built by a human hand or, moreover, have a feeling as if you are in a little Sistine Chapel of Vatican. Before the Soviets invaded the country in 1921, the church used to function and regular religious services were held for its Catholic parishioners. During the Soviet period the church was closed and used for various purposes. This holy place was transformed into a high-voltage laboratory by the Soviets and at one time it served as an archive as well.

In 1980s the church was restored and the unique frescoes were renovated. The government was planning to transform the building into a concert hall and due to this reason invited Georgian restorers from Tbilisi who fulfilled their task and brought new life to the paintings maintaining their original appearance. Later in 1989 the church was transferred to the possession of Patriarchy of Georgia and was sanctified by Catholicos-Patriarch Georgia, Ilia II.

Sadly, the unique cathedral’s interior has been in poor conditions for years, its beautiful century-old frescoes have been damaged and, moreover, some of them have already disappeared. The murals needed urgent restoration works. One year ago Georgian Journal tried to attract the attention of public and the local government to take serious measures and repair the unique heritage that has been crumbling in front of us.

This year we decided find out whether certain steps have been taken in order to improve the decrepit conditions of the cathedral and save this unique building together with its precious works of art. With this aim Georgian Journal contacted Sopo Chanishvili, the representative of Adjara Cultural Heritage Agency to learn about the current conditions inside the cathedral. As Sopo Chanishvili said, currently the group of specialists and restorers from Tbilisi are examining the interior of the cathedral.

“The examination and restoration process is underway in the historic cathedral for 2 months already. The damages will be fixed and the interior of the cathedral, in particular the century-old frescoes will be fully restored”, - Sopo Chanishvili reported.

Concerned with the cathedral’s issue, Georgian Journal questioned the future of the cathedral, whether it will be handed back to its original owners, catholic parishioners or remain in the hands of Patriarchy of Georgia, but we could not get an exact answer to this question.


The opening of the cathedral
geotv.ge


Author
: Lika Chigladze

Click next button below and view the photos:
(1 / 31) Next
Print
Other Stories
SOS Talents Foundation – Michel Sogny Christmas Concert in Paris On December 7th 2017
International Foundation SOS Talents – Michel Sogny organizes exclusive annual Christmas Gala Concert in Paris,
Tbilisi's rare Art Nouveau buildings at risk
Walking around Tbilisi, especially Sololaki or in Aghmashenebeli Avenue and the nearby area, it is worth lifting your eyes.
Three Georgian authors nominated for the 2018 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in literature
November 14 marks the birthday of famous Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren.
Tbilisi - Eastern Europe's coolest city
Magazines all over the world are praising the emerging city for its cool and urban atmosphere.
Björk performs in fantasy costume by a Georgian designer in Tbilisi
Legendary Icelandic musician and singer Björk has recently visited Georgia.
BBC publishes a movie trailer featuring famous Georgian actor
BBC has released a new trailer of TV series McMafia, featuring famous Georgian actor Merab Ninidze.
Bjork to perform at Tbilisi Concert Hall today
Icelandic musician Bjork will perform at Tbilisi Concert Hall today.
Björk is already in Tbilisi, Georgia
Björk, the legendary Icelandic musician and singer, arrived in Tbilisi on October 28, together with the group of 12 people.
3 Georgian films selected for Sao Paolo Film Festival
Georgian cinema is reaching new heights and gaining international success at many film festivals.
What Is Georgia’s Traditional Chokha and Why Is It in Fashion?
Georgian historic outfit Chokha has been spotlighted by leading fashion magazine VOGUE.
Bjork to visit Georgia’s regions to explore local music
Icelandic musician Bjork will hold concerts in Tbilisi Concert Hall on October 31 and at Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theater on November 3.
Lika Kavzhardze’s artworks on display – First exhibition of most charming Georgian actress
The exhibition of great Georgian actress and symbol of Georgian beauty Lika Kavzharadze’s artworks has opened in Tbilisi.
Artworks of two prominent Georgian artists on display at Sighnaghi Museum
The exhibition in Georgia’s picturesque eastern province of Kakheti will mark a dual anniversary of the Sighnaghi Museum.
German choreographer Sasha Waltz’s performance CONTINU to take place in Tbilisi
Sasha Waltz's  “Continu” will take place in Tbilisi, Zakaria Paliashvili Georgian National Opera and Ballet State Theatre on October 20, 21.2017.
First Georgian-French animation The Pocket Man claims new award in Canada
Georgian illustrator and filmmaker Ana Chubinidze’s short animation The Pocket Man has claimed yet another international award.
Björk to hold two concerts in Tbilisi with National Symphony Orchestra
Legendary Icelandic musician and singer Björk will visit Georgia in October.
David Lynch to found film festival and cinematography institute in Georgia
Iconic American director David Lynch will found a film festival and an eponymous cinematography institute in Tbilisi.
Botticelli’s Venus has already arrived in Georgia
Botticelli’s masterpiece Venus has already been transferred to Georgia.
Tbilisi to host exhibitions of Sandro Botticelli and Caravaggio’s artworks
From 5 October to 29 November, Tbilisi will host two unique exhibitions of renowned Italian artists Sandro Botticelli and Caravaggio.
Movement Theatre presents its unique musical pieces
On September 24, Georgia’s Movement Theatre holds a presentation of its musical album named Music For The Theatre.
Georgian artist’s exhibition Requiem
Georgian artist Lado Bregadze’s exhibition titled Requiem was held
Sandro Botticelli’s  Venus to be exhibited in Tbilisi
The National Museum of Georgia will soon host the exhibition
Eldar Shengelaia – The kind of Georgian tragicomedy
Eldar Shengelaia (born on 26 January 1933) is a prominent Georgian film director and screenwriter.
I am very sorry that my concerts have been postponed and I'm looking forward to arriving in Georgia - Elton John
I am very sorry that my concerts have been postponed in Georgia and I'm looking forward to arriving in Georgia,
The International Black Sea Folk Festival offers a unique opportunity to demonstrate the world folklore
Enjoy the World Folklore's unique aspects and become a part of the festival.
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
11.12.2017
12.12.2017
USD
1
USD
2.6794
2.6794
EUR
1
EUR
3.1462
3.1462
GBP
1
GBP
3.6081
3.6081
RUB
100
RUB
4.5141
4.5141
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Other Stories
The most festive season, New Year is coming and everyone seeks for winter fairs and markets to purchase presents and decorations for their loved ones.
My Georgian Reality is the illustration series inspired by everyday life.
Georgia’s latest and one of the most successful Georgian films My Happy Family is already available on Netflix.
After winning the special prize at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA),
With tonight’s screening the Tbilisi International Film Festival starts for the 18th time.
This year marks the 110th anniversary of the birth of Petre Otskheli, one of the leading 20th century modernist artists
The award ceremony Australian Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) was held in Brisbane, Australia.
Legendary film director David Lynch visited Georgia
Georgian film director Mariam Khachvani's film Dede was selected at the 30th meeting of the Cannes International Film Festival.
The video depicting Georgian folk ensemble Shavnabada performing amazing polyphonic version of the European Anthem at the World Forum for Democracy in Strasbourg has recently gone viral on social network.
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.6794
EUR
1
EUR
3.1462
GBP
1
GBP
3.6081
RUB
100
RUB
4.5141
December 2017
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31