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Sumela Monastery / Religious tourism in Turkey

Located within the Altindere Village of Trabzon's borders, you can find Sumela Monastery, one of the Black Sea Region's most important cultural assets.

Known as the "Virgin Mary" among the people, the monastery is 300 meters above the Altindere Valley.

According to legend, a monastery was founded by two priests named Barnabas and Sophranios from Athens during the time of Byzantine Emperor Theodosius I (375-395). It was repaired by one of his generals, Belisarios after Emperor Justinianus asked the monastery to fix and expanded in the 6th century. Since the 13th century, the monastery is still to exist.
Since the Ottoman empire had already owned many monasteries, it was only a matter of time before they could add the Sumela monastery.

Many parts of the Sumela Monastery were renovated in the 18th century, and some walls were decorated with frescoes. With large buildings in the 19th century, the monastery gained a magnificent appearance and lived its richest and brightest period. The monastery took its latest form during this period. During the Russian occupation of Trabzon between 1916-1918, the monastery was seized and completely evacuated after 1923.

Main sections of Sümela Monastery; Rock church, several chapels, kitchens, classes, guest house, library, and the holy spring. These buildings were built in a very large area. The large aqueduct, apparently bringing water at the monastery entrance, leans on the slope. Most of this multi-eyed belt is destroyed. A long narrow staircase reaches the main entrance of the monastery. There are guardrooms next to the entrance door. From here, a staircase leads down to the inner courtyard. On the left, there are various buildings in front of the cave that represents the monastery that later turned into a church and the library on the right. Again on the right, the area with a large balcony covering the front of the edge was used as monk rooms and guest rooms aback in 1860. Turkish art can also be seen in the courtyard buildings with cabinets, cells, and stoves in the rooms. 

With the frescoes removed from time to time in the Sumela Monastery have scenes from the Bible. They are depictions of the life of Jesus and the Virgin Mary.

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