Eremo di San Colombano monastery is notable for its location in the side of a mountain. Some natural caves, halfway up the rock wall of the gorge formed by the stream of Leno Vallarsa were certainly used from 753 AD (the date inscribed on the rock) from a Monaco hermit.
According to legend, the hermit San Colombano first arrived there and killed the dragon that caused the death of children baptised in the waters of the river below Leno. More likely, the legend was born as a place from the first hermit monks from the nearby monastery of Bobbio, or the Priory of St. Columban Bardolino. Visitation to the site was prescribed during Lent.
Between the late tenth and early 11th century, records indicate the first construction of a small church dedicated to the saint at the opening of the cave, under a roof of natural rock. The first documentary evidence of the presence of the Hermitage and the church are one of 1319, relating to a bequest made to the Church of St. Columba on the part of Count William of Castelbarco of the House of Lords of Lizzana and Rovereto, and the other, 1470, is still preserved in Lizzana, attesting to the faith of the inhabitants of the place with celebrations and processions to the Irish saint to avert the long drought.
The hermitage of the hermit's cave was used by monks, hermits, who were its guardians, until 1782 when the practice of the hermitage was abolished. Since then the place of worship was later cared for by the inhabitants of the valley.
The province of Trent in 1996 restored the church, and the opening to the public is maintained by a group of volunteers gathered in the Committee Friends of St. Columban.
The hermitage is accessed by a staircase of 102 steps carved into rock. Frescoes depict the fight between St. Columba and a dragon (an allegory of the struggle between good and evil), as well as the representation of Paradise, located in the cave. Another fresco with 'Madonna and Saints' is the fifteenth-century altar of the church and keeps recordings with prayers and candles dated between 1505 and 1782, witnessed the pilgrimage to the shrine.References:
Narikala is an ancient fortress overlooking Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, and the Kura River. The fortress consists of two walled sections on a steep hill between the sulphur baths and the botanical gardens of Tbilisi. On the lower court there is the recently restored St Nicholas church. Newly built in 1996–1997, it replaces the original 13th-century church that was destroyed in a fire. The new church is of 'prescribed cross' type, having doors on three sides. The internal part of the church is decorated with the frescos showing scenes both from the Bible and history of Georgia.
The fortress was established in the 4th century and it was a Persian citadel. It was considerably expanded by the Umayyads in the 7th century and later, by king David the Builder (1089–1125). Most of extant fortifications date from the 16th and 17th centuries. In 1827, parts of the fortress were damaged by an earthquake and demolished.