Soumela Monastery or Sumela Monastery is a sacred place for Greek Orthodox Christians. It was built on a steep cliff. Before 1850, you had to use a wooden ladder to enter the monastery. Then, in 1864, a stone staircase was installed. Later, the library and facade were added to the main building. Before that, the monastery had wooden cells hung from the cliff. A new building was needed for the annual pilgrimage to the monastery on 15 August. It is said that the pilgrims, which include some Muslims, largely paid for the rebuilding process. Fundraising trips were made by monks from Soumela.
Sacred Space For Greek Orthodox Christians
The Rock Church is the principal structure of the Monastery complex, which is composed of various chapels and student rooms, as well as a guesthouse, library, and sacred spring. The chapels, which were converted from caves, are now open to the public, and the murals depicting heaven, hell, death, and life have been discovered. These paintings will be made available for visitors after the monastery undergoes restoration.
The Sumela Monastery was founded during the reign of Theodosius I and is a renowned architectural marvel. Locals call it Meryem Ana, which means “Mary.” The name may have originated from the word “mela,” which is believed to refer to the mountains in the area. A cave was found at the site, which later became the site of the Rock Church.
The Patriarch of Constantinople, Vartholomeos, has condemned the Turkish government for the decision to allow a band to film a television ad featuring young people dancing and singing at the Soumela Monastery. The Greek Foreign Ministry has expressed grave concerns over the decision to allow this band access to the monastery. Despite these concerns, the Greek Foreign Ministry is urging Turkey to stop the filming and restore the monastery.
The church was founded in 1892 by the Pontic Greeks of Greece, and the first church dedicated to Panagia Soumela was dedicated to her in 1912. The monastery is now triune and has two chapels dedicated to St. John the Theologian and Father David of Euboea. The church also hosts many Greek Orthodox Christians from around the world.
The homonymous church houses the icon of Panagia Soumela, the patron goddess of the Church of Antioch. Located on the Mount of Mela, it is a poignant reminder of the Greek Genocide. The icon was iconographed by Evangelist Luke and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are also several icons of this icon.
Built on a steep cliff
The interior of the monastery is covered in beautiful frescoes. These paintings are the result of three distinct periods. The frescoes depict many enchanting figures, including Adam and Eve and the scene of creation. Visitors are often mesmerized by the frescoes, which are believed to date back to the eleventh century. Soumela Monastery is located at the foot of a steep cliff, so it’s possible to explore the entire monastery in a few hours.
The rock-hewn monastery is named after the goddess Soumela, the Mother of God. The monastery was founded in the fourth century by two Athenian priests, Barnabas and Sophronius. They were inspired by a miraculous icon of Mary found in a cave near the monastery. The monastery’s founders later reconstructed the monastic complex and restored it to its original glory.
Sumela Monastery was built on a steep cliff in the Zigana Mountains. A long, narrow stairway leads to the monastery. It used to be covered with a wooden roof with a large overhanging eave, but this was destroyed by time. There is a large sacred pool within the monastery and irregular drips from the cliffs.
The Greek Orthodox Sumela Monastery is an excellent place to experience the majesty of nature. Built on a steep cliff, it is the only monastery that is located outside of a city. It’s worth the trek, even if you’re traveling by car. The road up is steady and a good view of the monastery will reward you with a stunning view.
The main building of the monastery, the Rock Church, is the most impressive structure. This cave was converted into a church and serves as the core of the monastery. It was first visited in the ninth century, but the monastery was not reopened until 1923. Since then, foreign travelers have visited the site and written about the monastery. If you’re considering a visit to Soumela Monastery, be sure to plan enough time to visit the monastery.
Sumela Monastery is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The monastery’s name comes from the Greek word “melas”, which means black. The name is believed to be connected to the black-colored mountains and portraits of the Virgin Mary. You can visit the monastery by bus or train. But make sure to reserve your hotel room in advance – the hotel will probably be full and you can’t get out of there.
Iconography of Panagia Soumela
The iconography of Panagia Soumela is remarkably complex. The first attempt to rename the icon was unsuccessful. After a series of unsuccessful attempts, the icon was renamed and given its current name, Panagia Soumela. This monastic site was frequently pillaged. Nevertheless, the icon remains a treasure of the area. Today, the monastery has an active community of monks and a rich history.
The icon depicting the Goddess Panagia Soumela features clouds on the upper side and a triangle representing Heaven. The Lord’s hands are seen in front of the icon, blessing Angels and Saints. The icon is not a human creation; rather, it was entrusted to a monastery founded by God. Despite the recent controversy, the icon remains an important part of Pontian culture.
The icon of the goddess Panagia Soumela originated in the Pontos area of Asia Minor. The name “Soumela” means “at Mount Melas”. The icon was preserved at this historic Monastery for centuries. St. Luke the Evangelist’s icon of the goddess was also preserved in the monastery. The icon of Panagia Soumela has a long history of miracles.
The mountain of Mela was a popular place for pilgrims to worship. The mountain was home to two monks, Basil and Sotirichos. The monks found a sacred icon there and decided to build a monastery. Originally, the icon was called Panagia Athiniotissa. It was transferred by angels to Mount Mela. The icon was then renamed Panagia Soumela.
Many Pontians immigrated to Australia. In Victoria, Australia, there are 35,000 Greeks of Pontic descent. In the summer of 1931, George Papadopoulos, President of the Association of Panagia Soumela in Australia, visited Kastania in Macedonia. He discussed with the Executive Committee of the Panhellenic Holy Foundation of Kastania Veroias to secure permission for the pilgrimage. The Metropolitan Polycarp of Xanthi told Venizelos about the hidden icon and promised to retrieve it.
The monastery was built in the twentieth century. The 4th-century Soumela monastery in Turkey had several icons painted by St Luke the Evangelist. The icon was buried with other relics during the 1923 genocide. Father Ambrosios returned to recover the priceless treasures. A new church was built. It is a place of worship for the local community.
Location of Soumela Monastery
Soumela Monastery was established in the 10th century. Its icon, Panagia Soumela, is a revered icon of Pontic Greek identity. The monastery has a secret tunnel leading to the discovery of an ancient chapel. Thousands of pilgrims visit this monastery every year. The monks in Soumela had a vision of a place where they could live for all eternity.
The monastery’s history stretches back to antiquity when it was attacked by Turkish troops during Easter. The Turkish armed forces stayed at Soumela for two months until Russian forces arrived. By the 14th century, the monastery had lost its monks to theft and remained a target for robbers. In fact, most abbots of Soumela made fund-raising trips to Pontic Greek communities in Russia.
Sumela Monastery fell into ruin several times during its history, but it was rebuilt by various emperors, and eventually became renowned during the Empire of Trebizond. The monks then relocated the monastery to Mount Vermion, where the famous icon of St. Barbara can be found. Today, the monastery is a popular tourist destination and an outdoor museum. It is worth a visit!
While visiting Soumela Monastery, make sure to visit Hagia Barbara Chapel, a small chapel that overlooks streams and forests. Hagia Barbara Chapel is a popular tourist attraction because of its aesthetic and cultural significance. It was founded by two Athenian priests in the fourth century after they discovered a miraculous icon of Mary. The chapel was later added. And now it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Sumela Monastery is a significant tourist destination and historical site in Trabzon. It was dedicated to the Virgin Mary in the early Christian era and has a beautiful view of the Altindere Valley. The monastery is considered sacred by Greek orthodox worshipers and has a long history. It is a great place for pilgrims to visit if you are interested in Greek history, culture, and architecture.