Church of St. Nicholas in Batumi
Georgia, Batumi

The Church of St. Nicholas is one of the oldest and most beautiful buildings in the city of Batumi. The initiator of the construction of the church was the Greek population of Batumi, led by Jordan Metaksa. Since Batumi was under the protectorate of Turkey at that time, the Greeks turned to the Turkish Sultan for permission to build a Christian church. The Sultan agreed with the condition that the church will not have bells - the main attribute of the Orthodox Cathedral.
The foundation of the church was laid in 1865. Construction was carried out with the money of parishioners and city dwellers, the Russian vice consul Dzhudich made a big contribution. The first service in the church was held in the year of construction completion - 1871, but it is still not known who held the first liturgy in this Greek church. It is also unknown about who sanctified this church. In 1878, a bell was installed in the church, which to this day adorns the dome of the cathedral.
In 1894, a very significant event took place here - male and female schools were opened on the territory of the church, which existed in the church until 1898. The church choir was famous for its professionalism. In 1920, the board of the Greek community of the city of Batumi at the Church of St. Nicholas decided to issue their own banknotes of small denomination and in small quantities. With this money, believers and parishioners of the Greek church paid for candles, made donations, paid for church ceremonies, such as christening or funeral services. Banknotes of 1, 2, 3, and 5 rubles were issued, which over time were completely redeemed and destroyed. Only a few coins worth 1 ruble remained. However, some sources indicate that 10 rubles worth of money were issued.
In the 30s of the last century, the church, like many others in Georgia, was closed. Since 1931, all church buildings in the country began to belong to the state. All the literature that was stored in the church at that time was transferred to the state museum for storage so that the most common exhibits could be made from these books.
After the Second World War, representatives of the intelligentsia of the city of Batumi - Elizaveta Kharlampovna Kotidi and Princess Tamara Mikhailovna Nakashidze began to ask His Holiness and Beatitude Patriarch Kalistrata (Tsintsadze) that the Church of St. Nicholas again began to operate and that services began again in it, and from 1948 years, the church became operational again. From 1963-1967, with the blessing of the Catholicos Patriarch Ephraim II, hieromonk Ilya (Shiolashvili), now known as the Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II, served in the Church of St. Nicholas.
In 1998, restoration work was started inside the church, the walls inside the church were painted by priest Joseph Vanidze. Over the past 20 years, the church of St. Nicholas in Batumi has been repainted 3 times. At first it had a shade of blue clear sky, then it was repainted in a delicate peach color, and finally, the church acquired a modern look. In 2011, restoration work was completed in the building, and today it is one of the main operating churches in the city.