Sumela Monastery Reopened to Visitors
Sumela Monastery thanks from Patriarch Bartholomeos to President Erdoğan.
Sumela Monastery which is Turkey’s most important tourism centers of faith was reopened to visitors.
The Sumela Monastery, which was closed to visitors in September 2015 against the risk of falling rocks, was opened to visitors on May 25, 2019, with the completion of the first phase of the projects carried out around it.
Istanbul Greek Orthodox Church Patriarch I.Bartholomeos thanked President Erdogan, through a phone call, for reopening Sumela to visits after the restoration. In the statement made by the Directorate of Communications, it was stated that Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew expressed his gratitude for President Erdogan’s support and interest in the restoration works of the Sumela Monastery.
Dangerous Rocks Were Knocked Down
Minister of Culture and Tourism Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, Trabzon Governor İsmail Ustaoğlu and other interested parties attended the ceremony where the Sumela Monastery, which has been on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Temporary List since 2000, was opened again after the restoration.
Within the scope of the projects in the Sümela Monastery, which was closed to visitors for about 5 years, the rocks posing danger were dropped on the slope, steel wire mesh was stretched in the areas determined by the experts, and barriers were established. Restoration was carried out in the interior parts of the building, and arrangements were made on the pathway that provided transportation.
First Rite After 88 Years
The first ritual after 88 years was held on 15 August 2010 with the participation of Orthodox Christians in the historical Sumela Monastery. The ceremony, which was accepted as “the day of the ascension of the Virgin Mary to the heavens” and considered sacred, was conducted by the Fener Greek Patriarch Bartholomeos.
History of the Sumela Monastery
Sumela Monastery, located in a forest area at an altitude of 300 meters from the valley, on the outskirts of Karadag in the Altındere Valley of Maçka district, is known as “Virgin Mary” among the people. Many parts of the Sümela Monastery were renovated in the 18th century and some of its walls were decorated with frescoes. With the addition of large buildings in the 19th century, the monastery gained a magnificent appearance and lived its richest period. The monastery, which took its final shape during this period, became a place visited by many foreign travelers and subject to their writings. The main parts of the monastery are the main rock church, several chapels, kitchens, student rooms, guest house, library and holy spring. This ensemble of structures was built on a very large area. The large aqueduct, apparently bringing water at the entrance of the monastery, is leaning on the slope. There are guard rooms next to the entrance door of the monastery, which is entered by a narrow, long staircase. From here, a staircase leads down to the inner courtyard. On the left, there are various monastery buildings in front of the cave, which is the basis of the monastery that was turned into a church. The library is on the right. Again, on the right, the section with a large balcony covering the front of the slope was used as crossing rooms and guest rooms.
The frescoes in the chapel are dated to the beginning of the 18th century and there are three layers made in three different periods. The frescoes of the lowest layer are superior. The main topics in the frescoes, which were removed from time to time in the Sumela Monastery and which have a very ruined appearance, are the scenes taken from the Bible, the depictions about the life of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary.