Christianity came to Abkhazia in the I century, it was preached in the Abkhazian land by the Apostles Andrew the First-Called and Simon the Zealot. For some time they were in Sevast (modern Sukhum). Then, according to legend, the Apostle Andrew went along the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus, and the Apostle Simon settled in a small, inaccessible cave on the Psyrtskha River (not far from Novy Afon) and continued the gospel sermon to the Abkhazians. During the persecution of Christians under the Roman emperor Diocletian, he was killed near his home (in 55). Approximately, in the IX-X centuries, a temple was built on the site of his burial.

Pitiunt (now Pitsunda) was the first hearth of the Christian faith in the Caucasus and the center of its further spread. In the IV century, a church community arose here, headed by Bishop Saphronius. In 325, Bishop Stratophilus of Pitiunt participated in the First Ecumenical Council - the Council of the Church, convened by the Roman Emperor Constantine I in the city of Nicaea (now Iznik, Turkey).

The autocephalous Abazg diocese with a chair in Sebastopolis (now Sukhum) was founded during the reign of Emperor Justinian of Byzantium and with his direct participation. In the VI-VII centuries, several episcopal sees belonged to the diocese: Tsandrypsh, Pitsunda, Anakopia, Sebastopol, Tsebelda and Gyuenos (Ochamchira). The Archbishop of Abazgia was directly subordinate to the Archbishop of Constantinople.

Over 20 centuries, more than 140 temples were built on the territory of Abkhazia. Many of them have been preserved and are open to the public, many of which are used for worship.

The ancient Assumption Church (Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary) in the village of Lykhny (once the capital of the Abkhazian Kingdom) was built in the X-XI centuries. This is a functioning temple where the tomb of Prince Safarbey Chachba-Shervashidze is located.

The Pitsunda Church (Cathedral of St. Andrew the First-Called) on the territory of the Great Pitiunt Reserve in the center of Pitsunda is a unique temple and a monument of architecture. Medieval paintings have been preserved inside, under the dome there is a fresco with the face of Christ.

The cathedral was built in the IV century in honor of the Apostle Andrew, who is considered the founder of the Abkhazian church together with Simon the Zealot. In the cathedral tomb, there are particles of their holy relics for the worship of believers. In the 1970s, the cathedral was converted into a concert hall with a rare German organ. Despite this, divine services are regularly held in the temple.

Temple of Simon the Zealot - a monument of church architecture of the X century in Novy Afon (in ancient times it was Anakopia). Near the ancient Anakopia fortress, the apostle Simon settled after wandering in the middle of the I century, where he was martyred by Roman legionnaires. On the site of the grave of the apostle, which was kept and revered by his disciples, and later by their descendants, a temple was erected in his memory. Today the temple is functioning and is being under reconstruction.

The Novy Afon Simon the Zealot Monastery is known throughout the world. Monks who came from the Russian St. Panteleimon Monastery on Mount Athos in Greece founded it. The monastery is a religious complex, visited by thousands of tourists as a tourist attraction. Orthodox pilgrims tend to come here to bow to the shrines and see the unique architecture and frescoes.

The Annunciation Cathedral is an architectural decoration of Sukhum, made in the neo-Byzantine style, located in the center of the capital of Abkhazia. The snow-white cathedral with graceful architectural lines and the cross on its dome are visible from afar, from the sea. The temple was built in 1909 at the expense of the Greek Orthodox community of Sukhum and consecrated in 1917 in honor of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The Tsandripsh Temple is a unique monument of antiquity (V-VI centuries) - is located in the village of Tsandripsh, Gagra region. The complex architecture of the basilica with many arches, side naves, and apse makes it difficult to accurately determine the style and find its analogue. The Tsandripsh basilica is included in the range of Black Sea monuments. Presumably, the first episcopal chair of the Abazgs could be located here.

The Church of St. George the Victorious in the village of Ilor is one of the most revered temples of Abkhazia. The white-stone church was built in the XI century on the site of one of the seven main Abkhazian sanctuaries, Elyr-nykha. Fragments of medieval frescoes, as well as elements of chased art, have been preserved on the inner walls of the temple. Several slabs with a carved image of a cross were inserted into the masonry of the outer walls. During the Soviet years, the temple was closed, today services are again performed. Particles of the relics of St. George the Victorious, myrrh-streaming and bleeding icons are kept in the church. The temple, as it once was in the Middle Ages, is one of the most visited functioning temples in Abkhazia.

The Anakopia Temple is located on the Iverskaya Mountain in Novy Afon on the territory of the old Anakopia fortress - the first center of Christianity in Abkhazia. The temple is dedicated to the Great Martyr Theodore Tyron. Initially, in the VI-VII centuries, there was another temple on this site, in honor of the Most Holy Theotokos - the sources mention the miraculous Anakopia Icon of the Mother of God.

The famous philanthropist, lumber merchant Nikolay Smetsky, built the Temple of Elijah the Prophet in the village of Agudzera. At the turn of the century, the Kostroma landowner Nikolay Nikolayevich Smetskoy acquired several plots of land in Sukhum near Gulrypsh and Agudzera, and in 1908 he built a church in a peculiar style at his own expense.

Abkhazian King Leon III erected the Assumption Cathedral in the village of Mokva at the end of the X century. Mokva Cathedral stands on a hill at the confluence of the Mokva and Duab rivers. The Mokva Cathedral is the only five-nave cross-domed church in Abkhazia. In terms of layout and proportions, the Mokva temple is close to the ancient Russian ones (Kyiv Sophia). The temple was famous for its interior decoration; on the floor was a circle of red marble with a pattern in the form of descending rays. In the XVII century, during the period of increasing Turkish influence in Abkhazia, the Mokva Cathedral was plundered and ornaments, iconostasis, jewelry and shrines were lost. In the middle of the XIX century, the cathedral was restored, but during the repair work the exterior of the temple suffered - the carved cornices disappeared, the tiled roof was replaced with iron.

Bzyb Temple. The ruins of a cross-domed three-apse medieval temple have retained their walls to the present day, but have lost the vault and dome. They are located on a rocky hill on the Bzyb River. In some places, the remains of an ornament made by local artisans have been preserved. According to the peculiarities of the construction technique, the monument is close to the Tsandrypsh Temple.

The ruined Myussera Temple of the X-XII centuries at the mouth of the Ambara River on the cape of the same name is considered the pearl of Abkhazian church architecture. The road to it leads along the famous beaches of the Golden Coast resort and then winds through the hills, ridges and gorges of the Myussera Reserve. The temple was destroyed during the Turkish rule.

The famous ancient Bedia Cathedral in the village of Bedia was built during the reign of the Abkhazian King Bagrat III (999). The place he chose among the mountains made the cathedral and the buildings surrounding it a reliable citadel. Near the cathedral are the ruins of a stone palace with the remains of vaults and columns. Here were the living quarters of the Bedian bishops. From the north, the bell tower adjoined the palace, through the first floor of which there was a passage to the territory of the cathedral.

The Holy Assumption Cathedral in the village of Dranda was built, presumably, in the VI-VIII centuries. In the Middle Ages, it served as the residence of bishops. In 1880, a monastery was established at the cathedral, which was closed in 1928.

The Temple of the Basilisk of Komany in the village of Komany is a small wooden temple (chapel) in honor of the Christian martyr Basilisk. It was built with funds from private donations on the site of an older temple and the burial place of the holy martyr. Near the place where, according to legend, Basilisk was killed, there is a holy spring.

The Church of the Beheading of John the Forerunner (the Baptist) in the highland village of Pskhu, Sukhum district, was built for more than 9 years on the site of a previously burnt church and was consecrated on the feast of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos on September 21, 2016. Despite the inaccessibility of the village, church services are held regularly.

Abkhazia and its centuries-old temples have been attracting thousands of Orthodox pilgrims from all over the world for hundreds of years.