The New Afon Cathedral of St. Simon Zelotes, Apostle

In the center of New Athos there is a small Greek cross temple available with three apses as a unique monument of ancient architecture devoted to St. Simon.

This church was constructed in the 6 th -8 th centuries during period of rising Anacopy as the administrative and religious center of the Abkhazian kingdom. Subsequently this temple became the bishopric and also served for burying any clergymen of the Sukhum (Tskhum) Diocese. This fact has been evidenced by a stone laid prior to 1882 beneath south entry gate and depicted with a circle with christcross and Greek inscription such as «The Holy Virgin, save George, the sacramental (i. е . the Metropolitan) of Tskhum». Before the first restoration procedure it had been the tombstone above burial ground of the abovesaid Metropolitan George.

The temple walls as well as its lost antechurches have been once plastered with relevant frescoes. The ecclesiastic and secular historians refer usually this temple to the name of St. Simon The Apostle, native of Cana of Galilee and companion of St. Andrew The Apostle. According with the church tradition they passed with homiletics from the south shore of the Black Sea to Viphinia and Pont arriving in 55 th year A.D. at Abkhazia borders whereas St. Andrew left St. Simon in vicinity of Psyrtskha river with purpose to disseminate the Christian faith among local indigenous people. The same year St. Simon was persecuted and martyred. Afterwards the white stoned temple has been erected on its burial site in memory of the first contacts of the Christians and Abkhazians.

The New Afon Cathedral of St. Simon Zelotes, Apostle
In the upper central part, on the smooth field - the relief picture of the Emblem of the Bank of Abkhazia, under it - the inscription in abkhazian “Аҧсны Абанк”(The Bank of Abkhazia). The semicircular inscriptions above the Emblem indicate the denomination of the coin “1 ҧСАРК” (1 APSAR). The mint trade mark in the right. In the lower part of the coin, small print inscriptions of five lines “Аҧсны Абанк” - the year of mintage "2016".
The reverse of the coin " The New Afon Cathedral of St. Simon Zelotes, Apostle ": in the central part of the coin- the image of the New Afon Cathedral of St. Simon Zelotes, Apostle, in the upper left part – the pictures of the cross and vessels for water - symbols of St. Simon Zelotes, in the upper central part of the coin- the semicircular inscription in abkhazian «Ацқьа Симон Кананит изку Афон Ҿыцтәи аныха» (The New Afon Cathedral of St. Simon Zelotes, Apostle). The inscription under the image of the Cathedral indicates the date of the building.
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