Monastery in Thrace to open to world
The St. Nicholas Monastery in the northwestern province of Kırklareli’s Vize district has been undergoing a restoration process for some time. Officials expect many tourists to be attracted to the region when the work is finished.
Speaking to state-run Anadolu Agency, the Culture and Tourism Director Necmi Asan said restoration work continued on the monastery, which was built in the sixth century on carved rocks and was made up of a church, a holy spring and various sections.
Asan said an expert team was working on the restoration, adding that they expected an increase in the number of local and foreign tourists after the restoration process.
The culture and tourism director also said that along with the restoration works, the environmental arrangement and lighting work was carried out in the historic structure.
“The monastery is being restored with a budget of 201,000 euros provided within the scope of the Instrument of Pre-Accession [IPA] Cross Border Cooperation Program,” he added.
The restoration work is set to be finished at the end of the year and some parts of the monastery remained open to visitors during the restoration process, too, said Asan.
A rare historic structure
Asan said the St. Nicholas Monastery was a very important structure in terms of world civilizations.
He said the monastery had made a great contribution to regional tourism.
“Once work is finished on the monastery, the number of Balkan tourists particularly will increase. It is already a brand for the Kıyıköy area. Restorations are ongoing while visitors are coming to see the monastery. Last year, 250,000 tourists visited the monastery and we expect it to double,” said the culture and tourism director.
“We believe this monastery will be a well-known place in the near future, just like the Sümela Monastery in the northern province of Trabzon, because it is a rarely seen structure. It needs to be promoted very well. However, the state has not made enough effort on this issue,” he said.
There is a lot in the region for artisans and locals to do, said Asan. “The restoration work should be supported with a high-quality hospitality, food and drinking sector,” he said.