The first part of the picturesque Black Sea province of Trabzon’s great monument Sümela Monastery has been opened to visitors on May 25 following a four-year-long comprehensive restoration and rock improvement work, Hurriyet Daily News reports.
Sümela Monastery, which is located on a steep and rocky area in the Karadağ Mountain in Altındere Valley and offers its guests a combination of nature, history and culture, has been closed to visitors due to extensive restoration and rock improvement works.
With its natural beauties, unique scenery and tourism alternatives, the monastery is popular every season and offers visitors different opportunities such as trekking, mountain biking, paragliding, and a photo safari.
Authorities had previously said that in the monastery, so far 4,000 tons of rocks were cleaned, a 300-meter walkway was maintained, historical aqueducts, the entrance building, and the stairs were restored again.
Sümela Monastery was closed in 2015 for a restoration process to eliminate danger caused by the rock masses around Karadağ Mountain. Restoration works have also been ongoing inside the historical monastery.
It is a Greek Orthodox monastery and also has a very significant place in the history of art. It is believed that the monastery was constructed in the 4th century, although Alexios III (1349 – 1390) can be named as the real founder.
It is inside the Altındere National Park and is surrounded by a beautiful forest. At the bottom of the mountain flows one of the arms of Değirmendere Creek.
The vehicles can reach up to the parking lot at 950 meters height near the river, and from that point, one needs to hike uphill through the pathway approximately 1 km to reach the entrance of the monastery, which is located 1,200 meters above sea level.
Photography courtesy of Hurriyet Daily News