INTRODUCTION (The text
The principal elements of the Monastery
complex are the Rock Church, several chapels, kitchens, student rooms,
a guesthouse, library and sacred spring revered by Orthodox Greeks.
There were built over a very large area.
The large aqueduct at the entrnace,
which cleary supplied water to Monastery, is constructed against the
side of the cliff. The aqueduct has many arches which is now mostly
The entrance of the Monastery leads
up by a long and narrow stairway. There is a guard-room next to the
entrance. The stairs lead from there to the inner courtyard. On the
left, in front of the cave, which constitutes the centre of the
Monastery and which was turned into a church, there are several
Monastery buildings. The library is on the right.
The large building which a balcony on
the front part of the cliff was used for the monks' cells and
guesthouse, it dates to 1860.
The influence of Turkish art can be
observed in the design of the cupboards, niches and fire-places in the
rooms of the buildings surrunding the courtyard.
The inner and outer walls of the Rock
Church and the walls of the adjacent chapel whch were painted on three
levels in three differnet periods are dated to the begining of the
18th century. The frescoes of the bottom band are of superior quality.
The frescoes of the Sumela Monastery
are seriously damaged since they have largely been moved from their
original settings. The main subject of the frescoes are biblical
scenes ans scenes telling the story of Christ and the Virgin Mary.