Sümela Monastery, which is one of the distinguished historical places of Trabzon with its nature and mystery, is located in Altındere village of Maçka County. It reserves a history that you don’t want to leave the city without seeing it.
Sumela Monastery: 1600 years of History
Sumela Monastery, also known as ‘Monastery of the Virgin Mary’, was opened to visitors in May – 2019 after four years of restoration. The monastery, welcomes many visitors from different parts of the world, was built in A.D. 386. Rumor has it, in the dream of two monks from Athens locating on different places; It is said that first foundations of the monastery was laid by these monks after they saw and tell each other the dream which tells location of the figure shows the Virgin Mary held the baby Jesus(POH) made by one of his apostles named Luca.The monastery, which was demolished and destroyed in various periods, was restored at several times.
The monastery gained importance in the 13th century during the Trabzon Empire and was restored by the Emperor Justinian in the 16th century, thereafter it has still survived. The frescoes of the monastery, which was largely renovated in the 18th and 19th centuries, have survived from this period. In 2010, with the permission of the state, Christians accepted ‘the day of Mary’s ascension to the Heaven’ and was considered holy on August 15, 88 years after the first ritual was led by the Fener Greek Patriarch Bartholomew.
Mystery in the Rock Cave
The Monastery was built inside the rock cave, stands out with its location on the cliff. It has a mysterious view especially with its location overlooking the valley covered with trees and fog. The monastery consists of the main rock church, the holy spring, many different chapels, kitchens, student rooms, guest house and library. Many frescoes in the monastery were renovated in the 18th century. This renovation continued in the 19th century.
Sumela Monastery Visiting Hours and Entrance Fee
Sümela Monastery is open to visitors every day between 08.45 – 19.00 in summer period (1 April – 1 October) and between 08.45 – 17.00 in winter season (1 October – 1 April). Entrance fee is 10 ₺ for non-card holders while MuseumCard holders can visit 2 times a year.
How to get to Sumela Monastery?
You can go to the monastery in the village of Altındere in Maçka by minibusses operating between Maçka and Trabzon. For those who have a vehicle, distance between Trabzon and Maçka is 30 kms. After Maçka, you take route to Altındere village with a journey of approximately 16 km and reach Sümela Monastery. Minibusses can be found between Maçka and Altındere in every hour.