A chapel that was accessible only through a hidden passage has been discovered during restoration works of the Sümela Monastery in Trabzon Province, North Turkey.
Renovation work at the Greek Orthodox monastery dedicated to Virgin Mary was launched two years ago. The murals within the newly discovered chapel depict heaven and hell, and death and life. According to the local mayor of Maçka, Koray Koçhan, the murals in the chapel are authentic and are in very good condition. The officials state that the chapel will be accessible to visitors, who will climb up a secret passage through corridors and use wooden ladders to reach it. The monastery was founded in AD 386 during the reign of the Emperor Theodosius I (375 – 395). It became famous for an icon of the Virgin Mary known as the Panagia Gorgoepekoos, said to have been painted by the Apostle Luke.
(after IHA Photo & Daily Sabah)