Lower Bethlehemi Church

Tbilisi, Georgia

Lower Bethlehemi Church

The Lower Bethlemi Church(Georgian: ქვემო ბეთლემის ეკლესია), also known as the Church of Saint Stepanos of the Holy Virgins (Armenian: Կուսանաց Սուրբ Ստեփանոս վանք) or Koosanats Sourb Stepanos Vank) – is a 14th–19th-century church at the foot of Narikala fortress in Old Tbilisi, Georgia. It was rebuilt between 1868 and 1870 and operated as an Armenian church. In 1988 it was given to the Georgian Orthodox and its Armenian identity was "Georgianized" in 1991.

From 1989 to 1995, the church underwent a heavy process of "Georganization", during which time all evidence of Armenian religious iconography was destroyed or removed and was replaced with Georgian ones.



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