Sumela Monastery,Pontic Mountains,Macka

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The monastery was founded in 386 AD during the reign of the Emperor Theodosius I (375 - 395),[1] Legend has it that two priests undertook its creation after discovering a miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary in a cave on the mountain.

During its long history, the monastery fell into ruin several times and was restored by various emperors. During the 6th century, it was restored and enlarged by General Belisarius at the behest of Justinian.

It reached its present form in the 13th century after gaining prominence during the reign of Alexios III (1349 - 1390) of the Komnenian Empire of Trebizond, established in 1204. At that time, the monastery was granted an amount annually from imperial funds. During the time of Manuel III, son of Alexius III, and during the reigns of subsequent princes, Sümela gained further wealth from imperial grants. Following the conquest by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II in 1461, it was granted the sultan's protection and given rights and privileges that were renewed by following sultans. The monastery remained a popular destination for monks and travelers through the years.

In 1682 and for a few decades, the monastery housed the Phrontisterion of Trapezous, a well-known Greek educational institution of the region.

The monastery was seized by the Russian Empire during the 1916-18 occupation of Trabzon.

The site was abandoned in 1923, following forced population exchanges between Greece and Turkey. The departing monks were not allowed to take any property with them, so they buried Sumela's famous icon under the floor of the monastery's St. Barbara chapel. In 1930, a monk secretly returned to Sumela and retrieved the icon, transferring it to the new Panagia Soumela Monastery, on the slopes of Mount Vermion, near the town of Naousa, in Macedonia, Greece.

Today the monastery's primary function is as a tourist attraction. It overlooks forests and streams, making it extremely popular for its aesthetic attraction as well as for its cultural and religious significance.

As of 2012, the Turkish government is funding restoration work, and the monastery is enjoying a revival in pilgrimage from Greece and Russia.

On 15 August 2010, Orthodox divine liturgy was again allowed after decades in the monastery compound.

A special pass issued by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople is required to visit on Aug. 15, the day of the Assumption of Mary, when a big Christian Orthodox feast for the divine liturgy is held. Only 450 to 500 visitors are allowed in the monastery, although widescreen TVs are available to observe the divine liturgy at the cafe some hundred meters away from the monastery.(wikipedia)

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Comments (197)

Giorgos Dimitriadis on January 26, 2014

Thanks a lot Akhtar Bashir Nigyal for kind comment and YsL 48/86

Käptn Iso on February 2

Beautiful place and photo 49/87

Giorgos Dimitriadis on February 2

Thanks a lot Käptn Iso for nice comment and YsL 49/87

hschwe on February 2

Great picture, thisisdr!! Beautiful monastery!!

Like and Favorite !

Kind greetings from Lower Rhine, Helmut

Thank you all very much for your very kind comments and score;)).

Giorgos Dimitriadis on February 2

Thanks a lot Helmut for kind comment and YsL 50/88

►Mariano on February 10

Magnífica!! George. L+F. Mis saludos

Giorgos Dimitriadis on February 11

Thanks a lot Mariano for nice comment and YsL 51/89

lakatrofe on March 21

Impresionante foto y la galería hay que visitarla con calma.


Giorgos Dimitriadis on March 21

Thanks a lot lakatrofe for kind comment and YsL 52/90

hschwe on March 27

Fantastic shot, beautiful scenery,, George! Excellentes Foto!! * Like 5 and Favorite 5! * Warm greetings from the Lower Rhine, Helmut Thank you very much for your very kind comments and score;)) Have a nice weekend!!

Giorgos Dimitriadis on March 27

Thanks a lot Helmut for visiting my gallery and nice commenting

mijodrag on April 17

Fantastic landscape and reflection , very nice photo. YsL I added your gallery to my favorites. Happy Easter to you and your family Giorgos,Greetings and best wishes from Serbia ,Mijodrag

Giorgos Dimitriadis on April 17

Thanks a lot Mijodrag for nice comment and YsL 53/91

der_pusher on May 18

wonderful view . ++++++++++ LIKE +++ FAV 54 +++++++++++ best wishes from germany Andreas

Thanks a lot Andreas for kind comment and YsL 54/92

Olga L. on June 27

Восхитительное место и фото. FL. Всего наилучшего. ольга.

Giorgos Dimitriadis on June 27

Thanks a lot Ольга for nice comment and YsL 54/93

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Photo taken in Altındere Milli Parkı, 61750 Trabzon Province, Turkey

Photo details

  • Uploaded on June 7, 2012
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Giorgos Dimitriadis
    • Camera: FUJI PHOTO FILM CO., LTD. SP-2000