A Mysterious Monastery On Top of High Rocks
Sumela Monastery (The Monastery of Virgin Mary)
Date of submission to the Tentative World Heritage List: 25/02/2000
List Reference: 1397
Sumela is a monastic complex built into the rock cliffs of the Altindere valley in the region of MaCka in Trabzon Province. It is construction began in 385 AD; and continued until the 19 th century. Barnabas, a monk from Athens and his nephew Sophronios built the section which comprised the first two rooms of the monastry in rocks. The Byzantine Emperor Justinian (AD 527-568) ordered the enlagement of the monastery. The monastery was looted and burnt by the Byzantines in AD 650. However the Comnenids restored and enlarged the monastey. The monastery with its 72 rooms and a rich library, lived its most flourishing time during the period of Alexios III 8 Michael I.