Founded by monks from the Order of Chalais, the Valbonne church was built between 1199 and 1230. It features minimalist architectural lines, typical of the order which reached its peak at this moment, before its decline and disappearance in 1303.
This was a small abbey, housing a maximum of 30 monks. The simple church, now a parish church, can be visited, as well as the monastery buildings, which are very well preserved, including a sacristy, chapter house, refectory, kitchen and workshop. The beautifully minimalist cloister, where remnants of the tiled roof can still be seen, also houses the monks' dormitories with narrow windows on the upper floor.
Restored in the 1970s, the image of the church was changed during the 19th century when the Romanesque southern windows were enlarged. On the northern wall, a chapel dedicated to the White Penitents was opened in the 17th century.
The second floor of the cloister houses a museum showcasing the heritage of Valbonne. Traditional jobs and domestic life are explained here.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.