The Sumela Monastery!

The Sumela Monastery is called the Monastery of the Virgin Mary. Built upon a sheer rock wall, high above a river valley, the setting is outstanding and absolutely beautiful.

I went to a hotel that is in the guide book to find transportation to the Monastery that is 45 kilometers away from Trabzon. There was a few guys from Slovakia and two guys from Israel traveling in the van, I hung out with the guys from Israel. The Israeli people I have met in Turkey are easy going, nice people, and non-religious, although they do observe the traditions of the culture such as passover. I am looking forward to learning more about the culture of Israel once I arrive in the country.

The Monastery was built by two monks of the Greek Orthodox side of Christianity. Built during the Byzantine era and abandoned in 1923, now the place serves tourists all over the world to gaze in wonder.

The main chapel is cut out of the rock and painted with frescoes inside and out; some vandalism defaced some of the paintings, although many have been preserved.

The van dropped us off about 500 meters away from the entrance; we walked down to the restaurant that is a 250 meter descent in twenty minuets.

It is a beautiful area, and another established wonderment before modern times. Indeed, if your visiting Trabzon, Sumela is not to be missed.

The above picture is the entrance of the Monastery.