Trabzon. Sümela Monastery.
BYZANTINE (ANATOLIAN) Anonymous
14th-17th c Anatolian Byzantine Architecture
(c. 450 - 1453)
Trabzon Province. Turkey.
Sümela Monastery.Trabzon Province. Turkey.
Sümela Monastery was founded in 386 on the site of a shrie to Artemis of the Apple. According to legend, it was founded by by two monks who had seen a portrait of the Virgin in a cave. It was restored in the 6th century at the behest of Justinian. It came to its present form in the 14th century during th reign of Alexios III (1349-1390) of the Komnenian Empire of Trebizond. It received funds from the Byzantine emperors and was granted protection under Sultan Mehed after the Ottoman conquest.The principal buildings are a Rock Church, chapels, students rooms, kitchens, a library, guest quarters, and a sacred spring. The cave church was painted with frescos in the 9th century with other layers added in the 14th and 17 centuries. The monks followed the Greek Orthodox rites. The site was finally abandoned in1923 following forced population exchanges between the Greeks and the Turks. Its most important treasure was an icon of the Virgin, reputedly painted by St. Luke, which was taken to Greece by the departing monks.
BYZANTINE |Trabzon. Sümela Monastery.|c. 1300-1700