The Church of St. Simeon the Canaanite is located near the town of Akhali Atoni in Abkhazia/Georgia, dating from the 9th or 10th century.
The church is dedicated to St. Simon the Canaanite, who, according to the 11th-century Georgian Chronicles, preached Christianity in Abkhazia and Egrisi and died and was buried at the town of Nicopsia, to the north of Abkhazia. A nearby grotto is associated by popular legends with the site of martyrdom of St. Simon.
The design of the extant church dates to the 9th or 10th century and is influenced by the Byzantine and Georgian art traditions, but the church site seems to be two centuries older. At the time when the Georgian historian Dimitri Bakradze visited it in the 1850s, the church was abandoned, but still standing except for the collapsed dome. The church suffered greatly when the local landlord, Major Hasan Margani removed its blocks of stone for the construction of his own mansion. Later, in the 1880s, the church was reconstructed, using blocks of white hewn stone, to its current state. The church is adorned with images of Christian symbols such as a fish, lion, and cross curved in relief.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.