The first phase of work being conducted on the rock masses on Mela Mountain, also known as Black Mountain where the world-renowned Sümela Monastery is located, is complete.
The historical Sümela Monastery located in Trabzon province is one of the most important structures for religious tourism in the world. Recently, the famous structure has been closed to visitors while the Ministry of Culture and Tourism conducts rock reclamation and restoration work in the area. Unstable rocks on the mountainside have been removed and reclaimed as part of the restoration.
A 600-ton rock will be the final boulder to be dealt with, and the second phase of restoration will start soon. After the huge rock is broken into manageable pieces and removed, parts of the monastery will be reopened for the public.
While the rock reclamation work continues, interior restorations are also underway in the monastery. After the timely restoration, the plan is to open every part of the structure, including the chapels, to visitors.
'Second phase of work to start soon'
Provincial Director of Culture and Tourism Ali Ayvazoğlu told Anadolu Agency (AA) that the intense restoration of Sümela Monastery has been ongoing for nearly a year and a half.
Noting that the first phase of the rock reclamation and restoration is complete, Ayvazoğlu implied that the second phase would start soon.
After discussing the interior restoration of the monastery, the director continued: "Previously, no other sections apart from the main cave church and yard could be visited in the monastery. The small chapels, library, kitchen and places where students stayed will also be open to visitors thanks to this restoration."
'Chapels once off-limits to public to open for first time'
"Existing chapels that have never been seen by visitors will also be open. We will even have the opportunity to tour the chapel located the farthest away. It is impossible to reach this chapel now, but people are working to make it possible," he said.
Explaining that the work will continue as long as the weather allows, Ayvazoğlu added that they plan to open the monastery to visitors as quickly as possible and want people to be able to experience every section of the structure.