The Sumela Monastery Travel Guide
Sumela Monastery, which is an important place to visit in one of the most beautiful cities of the Black Sea, Trabzon, is built on steep rocks in the Altindere Village in the Macka district of Trabzon. It is known among the people as “Virgin Mary”.
Virgin Mary, located approximately 300 meters high from the Altindere village, was constructed in accordance with the tradition of clay rocks, forests and caves, which are traditional monastery constructions. The monastery took its name from the word melas meaning black, which is also where the name of Sumela originated from. When you look at the dark mountains where the monastery is located, you can understand why it took the name of Silver, which means black. One of the famous historians, Fallmerayer, thought that the reason why the monastery was named Sumela is the dark mountains during the visit to the monastery.
The Legend of Foundation
It dates back to the twelfth century when art world developed well. It is known that the icons of Mother Mary under the name of the Black Madonna, which shaped those legends over those years, appeared in the Christian mosque. Some beliefs such as the spreading of Virgin Mary icons, which have become a source of livelihood for the Christian world, and the beginning of the circulation among the people that they create miracles, and the discovery of disasters in the regions where their lack is felt, started spreading. One of the icons of Mother Mary was made by Lukas of Jesus’ apostles and was kept in Athens, but in the time of Theodosius the painting was brought by the angels to the wreath of the mountains of Trabzon and placed on the stones.
In the name of Barnabas and Sophronios, two monks who came to Trabzon with the icons of Virgin Mary came to the mountains where Mother Mary Icon was brought and made the building of Anakaya Church. This church was enlarged by the Emperor Justinian in the 6th century and became a monastery.
Even if the founding legend of the monastery is described in this way, we are aware of the existence of the myth that is expressed in a different form. According to this myth, the situation is as follows: After a great hose, Mary saves the life of Ana 3. Alexios and leaves it at the site of today’s Sumela Monastery. Later, by issuing the 3.Alesios edict, he ordered that this place be a monastery connected to rich foundations. Today this order or imperial order is located at the gate of the monastery. It is also written on the gate that Alexander III was the founder of the Monastery.
Scientifically the Sümela Monastery
According to historical researchers, the construction of the Sumela Monastery dates back to the 13th century. From the Kommenos Persian founded in Trabzon in 1204, which is called Trabzon Commons, the importance of the monastery increased during the time of 3.Alexis (1349-1390) and it started to gain income with the edicts. The Ottoman Empire’s domination of the eastern Black Sea borders ensured that the monastery continued with the recognition of the fanciful rights. Some monasteries were presented by Fatih Sultan Mehmet Han and Yavuz Sultan Selim Han.
Sumela Monastery Parts
The main parts are; student rooms, master rock church, several chapels, guest house, library and sacred writings. The area covered by these sections is quite extensive. The belt that meets the need for water right before the monastery is noteworthy. The arch, which has multiple eyes, has been restored by the Municipality of Trabzon and has been given time.
You leave a long staircase and reach the central point of the monastery. There are guard rooms, which attract attention, besides the entrance; the inside of the monastery is entered with the stairs located there. On the left side you enter, there are rooms with churches which are important for the monastery. Immediately on the right is a library.
The rock church, which is the main unit of the monastery, and its integrated chapel are equipped with frescoes both inside and outside. These frescoes are believed to date to the 3rd Alexios period. The frescoes in the chapels are thought to belong to the 18th century. It is understood that many frescoes have disappeared in the monastery. The frescoes beneath the walls suggest that the monastery is constantly fitted with frescoes in many periods. The fresco pictured on the wall of a small chapel depicts the dragon and two saints, Georgios and Demetrios.
Trabzon After visiting the monastery to taste the traditional dishes of the town of Maçka, you can visit Sumer Restaurant. You can also see the traditional tastes of the seafood restaurant on the menu. From the cold appetizer varieties to the special guests, the buttered trout in a copper pan may be the ideal choice for those who care about the taste of the palate.
The Sümela social facilities, just below the Sümela monastery, welcome you with a magnificent view of nature. It is possible to find the famous traditional palate tastes as well as the famous Black Sea pides. There is also a drink service at this restaurant.
Sümela Monastery Entrance Fee and Visiting Times
Entrance to the Sumela Monastery is a fee.
You have a chance to visit the museum card twice a year. If you have a museum card plus, you can visit as many times as you like.
The fee for non-museum cards is 15 liras.
The Sumela Monastery, opens at 9 am in the summer, closes at 6 pm. In the winter you can visit between 8 am and 4 pm.
There are hostels in the county for those who are looking for a more economical accommodation beside four-star hotels. Although the quality and comforts of the hotel are low, it is possible to feel the warm and friendly communication of the people of Black Sea. Those who have set their budget according to a more economical accommodation service can evaluate the pensions in the district. There are also social facilities as the closest accommodation to the monastery of Sumela. Immediately under the Sümela monastery, there are social facilities, 2 duplex villas and 5 bungalow houses. This facility, which is nested with nature, is among the alternatives that can be evaluated for accommodation.
Sumela Monastery, How to Go?
Address: Sümela Monastery – Maçka / Trabzon
If you come to Trabzon with your own vehicle to see the Black Sea coasts, you can reach the town of Maçka from the center of Trabzon to the south. When you come to the town of Maçka you will find the village of Altındere 16 km to the east. You can come here very comfortably with your car. The fact that the roads are asphalted makes it possible to reach the roads quickly. But remember that you have to take the trouble of a steep and winding road to climb the monastery. If you do not have a private car, you can use passenger minibuses from the town of Maçka reaching the monastery. Those who have a special vehicle can also make a more effortless transportation to the Sümela Monastery by evaluating this alternative.
Sumela Monastery Accommodation
In Maçka, one of the most beautiful districts of Trabzon, you will be witnessing the mysterious architect of this historical monument while at the same time witnessing the hospitality of the Maçka district. Modern hotels welcome you to spend a nice holiday among the cheerful people of the Black Sea. If you mention the closest hotel to the Sumela Monastery, you can also choose to stay at Sumela Hotel, which welcomes its guests with great splendor. The modern and luxurious hotel, built in the center of the district, has 4 stars. Thanks to a good-humored service team, comfortable rooms and quality service standards, the accommodation will certainly be pleasurable.