Batumi Cathedral of blessed virgin Mary
The first thing that opens before travelers when looking at the Batumi panorama of the building of the magnificent Cathedral of the Nativity of the blessed virgin. This Cathedral has a rather tragic history, as in the Soviet period it was often altered and exploited, sometimes ignoring its important religious and historic significance.
The Cathedral was built in 1898-1903 Cathedral, Often wrongly attributed to the Orthodox Church, but almost nobody remembers that it was originally built as the Roman Catholic Church. After the annexation of Adjara to the Russian Empire in Batumi flooded with foreign citizens, among whom were representatives of different nationalities, many of whom were nominally Catholic. As in the nineteenth century, in Batumi there were no Catholic churches, the representatives of this religion appealed to authorities on the construction of the Cathedral.
The Cathedral was built on the donations of believers, but one of the main investors was the rich petroleum producer Stefan Zubalashvili. Thanks to his efforts the construction of the Cathedral was completed in 1902, and in 1903 he was consecrated.
After the revolution, when Georgia entered the Soviet Union, the Cathedral was confiscated by the government and used for various administrative and economic needs. The Georgian community and believers have long fought for the return of the Cathedral of the Nativity of the blessed virgin Mary Church. Great gruzinskijj Konstantin Gamsakhurdia supported this initiative, and the famous film Director Tengiz Abuladze mentioned the situation with the Cathedral in his film “Repentance”, which made this issue public importance.
The public and the Georgian intelligentsia was able to achieve the beginning of restoration works in the Cathedral, as well as the return of the Georgian Orthodox Church. 16 may 1989 Batumi Cathedral of the Nativity of the blessed virgin was sanctified by the Catholicos-Patriarch of all Georgia Ilia II. This day was held a solemn baptism, in which 5000 people were baptized. The Batumi Cathedral was declared a Cathedral.
Batumi Cathedral is one of the most beautiful churches in Georgia, built in the Gothic style. With two sides from the main entrance stand the statues of the apostles. Today there is debate about whose statues: the apostles Andrew and Simon the zealot, or the Holy Mary and Joseph. A characteristic feature of the Cathedral is its large stained glass Windows that beauty can compete with the best examples of French Gothic architecture.