After the annexation of Batumi to Russia, the influx of Catholics into the city increased. The small Armenian Church built at that time could not accommodate parishioners. And the service was conducted only in Armenian. Among the parishioners were Georgians, foreigners- French, Poles, engaged in trade, handicraft. Nationals of European states appealed to their consuls to open their Catholic church in Batumi.
In 1896 the permission was received, collection of donations among parishioners began. They also requested Stefan Zubalashvili, the oilman to provided additional funds. And the temple was built in 1902. On both sides of the church, from the central entrance to the elevation, there are statues of St. Andrew and St. Nino, who brought Christianity to Georgia. This cathedral was one of the most beautiful temples of the Caucasus.
During the Soviet era it was repeatedly threatened to destruction, which caused protests from the public and intellectuals, supported by the Georgian writer Konstantin Gamsakhurdia. These events served as a plot for the film of Georgian director Tengiz Abuladze “Repentance.”
In the 70’s with the blessing of the Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia, His Holiness and Beatitude Ilia the 2nd, the temple was returned to BAtumi. After the restoration, the cathedral was returned to its original form, its interior was renovated, and the frescoes were restored. In the 80’s he was returned to the Church, on May 16, 1989, Catholicos-Patriarch of Georgia Ilia the 2nd consecrated the cathedral, after which about 5 thousand people were baptized.
Now here is an Orthodox Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin.
Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary
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