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Sumela Monastery To Reopen After Restoration.

The rock church will be reopened this weekend after years of restoration and rock falls.

The Greek Orthodox church is thought to be dating back to AD 386, and built into the rock formations of Karadag near Trabzon.

Turkish government has been funding its restoration since 2012, and at some point was falsely accused by ultra-orthodox Greeks for closing it to Greek pilgrims.

The monastery was reopened for religious practice on Aug. 15, 2010, with permission from the Culture and Tourism Ministry, following an 88-year hiatus. Five years later, it was closed over the risk of falling rocks and went into a long restoration process later.

Trabzon Governor İsmail Ustaoğlu told Demirören News Agency (DHA) on Friday that the monastery, which was previously closed three times temporarily during restoration, has been in restoration since February 2016. The massive rocks atop the site had forced authorities to take extra measures as erosion over time made them even more dangerous. Explosives were used to tear apart part of the rock while climbers installed steel nets against the fall of pieces from the rock. Comprehensive work has been underway since November 2021 to keep the rock intact with steel stakes.

Also known as Mother Mary, or Virgin Mary, the monastery is carved out of rocks in a wooded area on the slope of Mt. Karadag in Macka – 300 meters (984 feet) above the Altındere Valley.

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