Sumela Monastery is a Greek Orthodox monastery dedicated to Mary, located at Karadağ within the Pontic Mountains, Turkey. Nestled in a steep cliff at an altitude of about 1,200 meters, it is a truly surreal sight to behold.
The foundation date of Sumela Monastery is debated, but it is often placed in the 4th century CE. The monastery was a major pilgrimage site for centuries, and it played an important role in the religious and cultural life of the Pontic Greeks.
The monastery complex is made up of a series of buildings and chapels, all carved into the cliff face. The most famous building is the Church of the Virgin, which is decorated with beautiful frescoes. The monastery also has a library, a refectory, and a number of other rooms.
Sumela Monastery was abandoned in 1923, following the population exchange between Greece and Turkey. The monastery fell into disrepair, but restoration work began in the early 2000s. The monastery is now open to visitors, and it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Turkey.
A visit to Sumela Monastery is an unforgettable experience. The monastery itself is a marvel of architecture and engineering, and its setting is simply breathtaking. The frescoes inside the Church of the Virgin are some of the finest examples of Byzantine art in Turkey.
If you are planning a trip to Turkey, be sure to add Sumela Monastery to your itinerary. It is a truly unique and special place.
How to get to Sumela Monastery
Sumela Monastery is located about 50 kilometers from the city of Trabzon in northeastern Turkey. The best way to get to the monastery is by car or by bus. There are also a number of tour operators that offer day trips to Sumela Monastery from Trabzon.