A memorial plaque with an inscription in Greek has been preserved in the Orthodox Church of the Dormition of the Mother of God in the village of Lykhny, located next to the palace of the sovereign princes of Abkhazia. It is located in the middle of the church (in front of the central ambon) at the level of the floor of the church. The inscription on this plaque also mentions the name of the sovereign prince of Abkhazia Safarbey (Georgy) Chachba (1810–1821).
The text of the inscription was first published by Ioannis Kalfoglus in 1908, in his work entitled “Greeks in the Caucasus” (Κάλφογλου Ι. Οἱ Ἕλληνες ἐν Καυκάσῳ. Ἀθήνα, 1908).
Here is our own interpretation of this inscription with translation into Russian.
Greek text: «Ἡγεμόνος Ἕδρα Γεωργίου Σαβασίδου Ἀββαζων Ταγού, Ἱππέως Ἁγίας Ἄννης Πρώτης Τάξεως καὶ Στρατηγού Ρωσσικού Συντάγματος, α΄ Μαρτίου 1818. Γεώργιος Μ. Σκαρδανᾶ ἐκ Μικόνου ἀνεγείρεν».
Translation: “The seat (throne) of the leader (igemon) Georgy Savasidi (Shervashidze), the ruler of the Abbaza (Abaza), the knight [of the order] of St. Anna 1st class and the general of the Russian regiment. 1 March, 1818. Restored by George M. Skardana from Mykonos.”
Thus, a memorial plaque with a Greek inscription in the Lykhny church is not a tombstone over the grave of the sovereign prince of Abkhazia Safarbey (Georgy) Chachba (1810-1821), as people think in our time, it is a memorial plaque devoted to the restoration of the throne (church?) of the sovereign prince of Abkhazia. This event took place in 1818 under the leadership of George Skardana (apparently an architect or craftsman) from the Greek island of Mykonos.
The aforementioned Ioannis Kalfoglus, in the appendix to his work “Greeks in the Caucasus”, also gives a brief description of the history of the city of Sukhum. In the appendix, he reports that the church of St. Georgy in Sukhum (on the territory of the “Aytar” hotel), was also restored under the leadership of George M. Skardana from Mykonos in 1821.
New Athos, 19 May, 2021.