Black Sea region’s Sümela Monastery reopens

Black Sea region’s Sümela Monastery reopens

TRABZON – Demirören News Agency
Black Sea region’s Sümela Monastery reopens

Alamy Photo

Restoration works have been ongoing for four years at Sümela Monastery in the Black Sea province of Trabzon’s Maçka district.

The monastery, where a team of industrial mountaineers continues to work on netting steel wire, was reopened with limited areas within the scope of normalization. Social distancing rules and hygiene have been prioritized in the monastery that started welcoming visitors.

Following a four-year restoration process, some parts of the Sümela Monastery, which is located in Maçka district’s Altındere, was opened to visitors on May 25 last year.

The monastery, the first phase of which was open to visitors for a month, was closed again and the second phase works started. It was announced that the monastery will be opened to visitors in May this year. But restorations could not be completed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The work was interrupted in April and resumed in May. Industrial climbers in the monastery are now netting steel wires in the slope against rock fall. The restoration team continues to work in the interior areas.

Now the visitors of the monastery are welcomed in line with social distancing rules. Their fever is taken at the entrance and they are not allowed inside without a mask. On the first day, a small number of people visited the monastery.

Following a recent visit to the monastery, Trabzon Governor İsmail Ustaoğlu said that 25 mountaineers are working in the monastery, adding, “Our team of 25 mountaineers continues to work with steel nets. Along with the normalization process, the Sümela Monastery opened to visitors. Of course, this has certain rules. There will be rules on masks, distancing and isolating at the entrance. On the one hand, restoration works continue in the region. The main rock church can be visited. Last works are carried out there. It will be open to visitors in the coming days. This process necessarily extended the restoration here. I think the work will continue until the end of the year and secure the rocks with steel nets.”

Trabzon Mayor Murat Zorluoğlu said that they tried to create an alternative road for transit cars.

“The Sümela Monastery and the Altındere Valley, where it is located, are important tourism destinations in Trabzon and the Black Sea. This place is very precious for us. We closely follow the restoration process. The General Directorate for Highways is doing road expansion for the main road. On the other hand, as the metropolitan municipality, we try to create an alternative bypass that will reduce traffic density for transit vehicles. To get rid of the parking problem here, we create a car park place in the area below. When competed, we will carry the cars to the monastery with a ring system,” he added.