Batumi’s Neo-Gothic Cathedral with century-old priceless frescoes
01 October, 2017
Batumi’s Neo-Gothic Cathedral with century-old priceless frescoes
(1 / 2) 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 treasures of the city. This former Catholic Church is distinguished by its
rare Gothic Revival design, exquisite architecture, heavenly frescoes and stained glass windows.

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 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.



The opening of the cathedral
geotv.ge

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.

Author
: Lika Chigladze


geotv.ge

Cathedral in winter , Batumi

Check out galley bellow:

geotv.ge

Old frescoes in the cathedral
geotv.ge
geotv.ge
geotv.ge
geotv.ge

geotv.ge

geotv.ge

geotv.ge

geotv.ge

geotv.ge
(1 / 2) Next
Print
Other Stories
Zurab Tsereteli exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery in London
The artworks of the Georgian painter Zurab Tsereteli will be exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery in London between the 23rd of January and the 17th of February.
Jvari Monastery reopened
Jvari Monastery in Mtskheta has been reopened.
Jvari Monastery closed for tourists
Jvari Monastery is temporarily closed for tourists.
Anita Rachvelishvili recognized as the best Verdi mezzo-soprano by Riccardo Muti
The New York Times has recently published an article about Georgian opera singer Anita Rachvelishvili.
Georgia to be a guest of honor in Paris in 2021
According to the director of the National Book center in Georgia Dea Metreveli, Georgia was offered to be a guest of honor at the annual book event in Paris in 2021.
Unknown painting of Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani uncovered in Georgia
Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani is among the most famous Georgian public figures.
Georgian opera singer Anita Rachvelishvili crowned as best classical music artist by the New York Times
In its end-of-year review about the best classical music of 2018, the newspaper frenetically celebrates Anita Rachvelishvili from Tbilisi.
Niko Pirosmani’s Georgian woman with Lechaki sold for 2 230 000 GBP
Niko pirosmani’s painting Georgian woman with Lechaki was sold at Sotheby’s for 2 230 000 GBP.
Nikortsminda Cathedral renovation works to finish successfully
Nikortsminda Cathedral is a Georgian Orthodox Church, located in Nikortsminda, Racha region of Georgia.
Georgian film “8 Minutes” wins 10 nominations on FICOCC
Georgian film “8 Minutes” became the winner for the 10 nominations on the Five Continents International Film Festival.
Ajika granted the status of an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Georgia
The traditional Megrelian and Abkhazian technology of Ajika, Georgian spicy sauce was inscribed on the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Georgia list.
Mountains, cheese and the colors of the national flag – these are the most obvious things that the two small countries share. But there is more to it.
Claudio Margottini about Vardzia
Vardzia is a cave monastery in Samtskhe-Javakheti. Queen Tamar ordered the construction of Vardzia in the twelfth century.
International Model United Nations to be held in Tbilisi
For the first time In Georgia, International Model United Nations, organized by Kant’s Academy, will be held in Tbilisi.
Charity project COATS to help 369 vulnerable children
The 9th Community Outreach Project COATS 2018 will be hosted by Radisson Blu Iveria Hotel on Sunday, November 18th, 2018
“We try to make Georgia and its culture better known to the Swiss people”
The Swiss based society “Friends of Georgia” celebrates this year its 30 anniversary.
London hosted Qvevri Wine Festival
London hosted Qvevri Wine Festival on the 8th of November.
Shota Rustaveli among the world's top 30 writers
Shota Rustaveli is among the top 30 writers on www.ranker.com
Rituals related to wine-making in old Georgia
In old times, wine cellars used to be considered as a sacred place where certain rituals took place.
Niko Pirosmani paintings in Vienna, in the Albertina Museum
The Albertina Museum in Vienna, Austria has organized a solo exhibition of the works of Niko Pirosmani.
The Fourth Official Ceremony of the Welcome to Georgia! National Tourism Awards
On December 17, 2018 Rustaveli Theatre will host the most remarkable event of the Tourism and Hospitality industry of Georgia
Mtatsminda Panthenon – a necropolis of great Georgians
Mtatsminda Pantheon is a necropolis in Tbilisi, Georgia.
The portrait of the Georgian King Teimuraz II returns to Homeland
The portrait of the King Teimuraz II belongs to the collection of Bagrationi Dynasty
Georgian song Suliko performed at the Frankfurt Buchmesse 2018
Georgia was granted an incredible title this year.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
18.02.2019
19.02.2019
USD
1
USD
2.6413
2.6404
EUR
1
EUR
2.9791
2.9908
GBP
1
GBP
3.3851
3.4130
RUB
100
RUB
3.9608
3.9898