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Destination Details

Trabzon, Turkey

 

Sumela is 1600 year old ancient Orthodox monastery located at a 1200 meters height on the steep cliff at Macka region of Trabzon city in Turkey.The monastery is constructed on rocks reached by a path through the forest. The beautiful frescoes dating from the 18 th century on the walls of the monastery are biblical scenes of Christ and Virgin Mary.The monastery dates back to the 4th century when it was founded by a Greek monk known as blessed Barnabas. For those wanting to visit Sumela monastery and take a look around inside to see the monks living quarters and various relics and frescoes left behind, a 40 minute hike through thick woodland is necessary.
 
The site was abandoned in 1923, following forced population exchanges between Greece and Turkey. The departing monks were not allowed to take any property with them, so they buried Sumela's famous icon under the floor of the monastery's St. Barbara chapel. In 1930, a monk secretly returned to Sumela and retrieved the icon, transferring it to the new Panagia Soumela Monastery, on the slopes of Mount Vermion, near the town of Naousa, in Macedonia, Greece.
 
 
Today the monastery's primary function is as a tourist attraction. It overlooks forests and streams, making it extremely popular for its aesthetic attraction as well as for its cultural and religious significance.
 
The principal elements of the Monastery complex are the Rock Church, several chapels, kitchens, student rooms, a guesthouse, a library, and a sacred spring revered by Eastern Orthodox Christians.The large aqueduct at the entrance, which supplied water to the Monastery, is constructed against the side of the cliff. The aqueduct has many arches which have mostly been restored. The entrance to the Monastery leads up a long and narrow stairway. There is a guard-room next to the entrance. The stairs lead down from there to the inner courtyard. On the left, in front of a cave, there are several monastery buildings. The cave, which was converted into a church, constitutes the centre of the monastery. The library is to the right.
 
Entrance fee of 8 Turkish Lira (Price may be change) is payable, but it is certainly worth the effort.

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