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Written by Sowmya C on June 14, 2021 Share on

The Spectacular Sumela Monastery of Trabzon in Turkey.

Turkey is the place to visit historical monuments of multiple settlements. It offers sights of remains of the Roman, Greek, and Ottoman Empires. One such city known for being historically rich is Trabzon. It is a port city on the northeast coast of Turkey. Famous for being a part of the ancient silk route, the city has many historical hotspots. It can also be just the perfect location for your Instagram worth pictures too. Thus, making it the perfect place to visit during your next vacation. One of the most visited monuments in the city of the Sultans is the Sumela Monastery.
So here a few things about the beautiful monastery that you need to know before visiting 🙂
Credits : Unsplash

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About the famous Sumela Monastery

The Sumela Monastery is one of the longest-standing religious monuments in Turkey. It has a lot of importance and is revered as the abode of calm and peace. What currently stands as the monastery was a church aeon ago. The combined vision of two monks, Barnabas of Athens and Sophronios, made the monastery possible as it stands strong today.

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The monastery is currently located in the Maçka district of Trabzon. The name was derived from the Mela mountain on which it was built. ” Stou Mela ” in Greek stands for “on Mela”. The name, coined from a Greek dialect where Stou gets modified into Sou. Thus, the monastery got its name Sou-mela aka Sümela. Built in 365 AD, it truly is an example of the craftsmanship of its time as it stands amid the rocks, one with its natural setting. So all you history lovers, get ready for the best time of your life!

How to reach ?

The Sumella monastery is carefully built on the top of the hill on the banks of the Panagia river, 1,150 meters above sea level. So it can be a little challenging to reach the location. Driving up to the doorstep of this ancient monastery is not possible because of the elevation. So the best way to reach the place is to take a hike on the path through the forest in the Altindere National Park. Do prepare for this hike as it sure to surprise you, in the end, is that your hike ends on a narrow staircase that lets you know that the wait is over! 😀
Credits : Unsplash

History of the Sumela Monastery

Founded during the rule of Emperor Theodosius I (AD 375-395), Sumela Monastery has a lot of backstories. Envisioned by two priests who had the same dream initially. It was built to the perfection it is today in the 13th century when Greek Emperor, Alexios III took a special interest in it.

This continued all through the Ottoman reign. The 18th century brought in riches for restoration, renovation, and expansion under the aegis of the Voivodas. The following century continued to hold only good things for the monument. It became a spectacle for travellers from all over the world to visit as it gained popularity in the greek orthodox communities. Who knew that a streak of bad events was to follow the years of good fortune. The fire of 1930 shook the historical masterpiece’s roots destroying the wooden parts of the monastery. It continues to be heavily worked on to retain its historical importance so that it makes its way into the UNESCO world heritage sites.

What to expect inside the Sumela Monastery?

The monastery stands as proof of all the changes in governance the province had gone through. You can take a walk through the corridors of Roman’s ceremony hall during coronations. Or maybe a stroll through the monastery to see one of the many gifts bestowed by the Ottoman empire. The architecture and design are sure to remind you of the churches of Cappadocia. It is home to many chapels, kitchens, student rooms, a library, a guesthouse, and a holy spring. The Rock Church is a “must not miss out attraction” of the monastery. Biblical scenes from the story of the Virgin Mary and the Christ are gently depicted by Frescoes here and are a sight to behold.

Tips while visiting the Sumela Monastery

  • Make sure to wear something comfortable for the hike to reach the monastery.
  • Around the monastery, there can be multiple restaurants that you can access. Be sure to stop by and eat to your heart’s content!
  • While you visit these restaurants, be sure to enjoy the Black Sea Breakfast.
  • As of 29th July 2020, the monastery has been open post 4 years of restoration work.
  • Carry all your important documents and a bottle of water on you at all times 🙂

Also read: Hagia Sophia – A Turkish Treasure That Cannot Miss Your Itinerary

So, that is how spectacular Sumela Monastery is! Ready to explore Turkey on your next vacation? Then, go ahead and explore PickYourTrail! We are India’s leading customizable travel company that gives travellers the freedom to customize their itineraries based on their budgets, requirements, and interests completely online. Go ahead and check out one for yourself. Happy Turkey vacation to you! 😀

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