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The Sumela Monastery stands at the foot of a steep cliff in Trabzon Province, Turkey. It lies at an altitude of about 1200 metres overlooking much of the alpine scenery below. This monastery resembles an eagle's nest which has been half hewn into the steep cliff face above a pine forest at the foot of the Zigana Mountains. Apart from its narrow entrance there is no other possible access to this place. According to local tradition the monastery was founded in the year 386 (during the reign of the Emperor Theodosius I (AD 375 - 395)) by two Athenian priests - Barnabas and Sophronius. Legend states that they found an icon of the Virgin Mary in a cave on the mountain and decided to remain in order to establish the monastery. It was abandoned in 1923, following the population exchanges between Greece and Turkey after the Treaty of Lausanne. A new Sumela monastery was founded in northern Greece which functions to this day. (composed from Wikipedia and personnal memories)

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Additional Photos by JeanLoup Castaigne (jloup) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 56 W: 15 N: 72] (622)
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