Sumela Monastery in Turkey
Discover the mystical beauty of Sumela Monastery in Turkey. Perched high on a cliffside in the stunning Trabzon region, this ancient monastery offers breathtaking views and a glimpse into the country's rich history.
In Turkish: Sümela Manastırı; Panagia Soumela, "Virgin Mary of Soumela" in Greek) is a spectacular rock-hewn monastery perched dramatically on the narrow ledge of a steep cliff in the forests south of Trabzon. It was built in the fourth century, just before the Roman Empire split into east and west, by two Athenian priests, Barnabas and Sophronius, who, according to legend, found a miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary in a cave.
The monastery's location in this geopolitically tumultuous corner of the globe naturally saw times of trouble and fell into ruin numerous times throughout its history, with its most thriving times falling under Byzantine and Ottoman rule.
The History of Sumela Monastery in Turkey
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The monastery was founded in 386 AD during the reign of the Emperor Theodosius I (375 - 395), Legend has it that two priests undertook its creation after discovering a miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary in a cave on the mountain.