Sümela Monastery in Trabzon to open completely after restoration works
One of the leading destinations in the world in terms of faith tourism, the Sümela Monastery in the eastern Black Sea province of Trabzon has been undergoing a restoration process for some time. The first stage of the works has recently been completed.
The monastery is found on a dramatic cliff edge in the remote mountains. It had been closed to undergo the works that aimed to address the danger caused by the rock masses around Karadağ Mountain where it is located.
As part of the project overseen by the Culture and Tourism Ministry, the rock structure in the monastery was studied at first and then the works began in parallel with the report.
Industrial mountaineers have worked to remove some of the rocks that created danger in the field and the work. The final part of the project will be the removal of a 600-ton rock. Upon its completion, part of the monastery will reopen to visitors.
There have been ongoing restoration works inside and outside the monastery. They are expected to finish within a short period of time. Upon its completion, even unknown parts of the monastery, including chapels, will be open.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Trabzon Culture and Tourism Director Ali Ayvazoğlu said the restoration in Sümela had been ongoing for a year and a half and the second stage of the works would start soon.
“Visitors have only been able to enter the main rock church and the courtyard. When the works are finished, they will be able to enter all of its sections, including the small chapels, the sections where students are accommodated, the library and the kitchen,” Ayvazoğlu said.
“We knew the existence of the chapels but people did not know about them and had no chance to visit them. The paintings on the walls of these chapels are more vibrant. Now visitors will see them. There is also a chapel on the tip of a rock outside the monastery. I hope we will also bring visitors to see it,” he said, regarding the chapels around the monastery.
Ayvazoğlu said transportation to that chapel was not easy. “This chapel is known but it is impossible to go there because it is located in a dangerous spot. Our friends are working on making this chapel accessible,” he said.
The director noted that works would continue as long as weather conditions were appropriate, adding that the monastery would be open as soon as possible.