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Trabzon is an old located on northern Turkey in the Eastern Black Sea Region and famous with Sumela Monastery and St. Sophia Church.
Situated in a very beautiful and natural setting, Sumela Monastery built in the 14th century is nestled into the side of rocks in a green valley. The setting is 1200 meters above the sea level. Two Greek monks, Barnaby and Sophronios started the original building. The 7th century Icon apparently painted by an anonymous Trabizond (Trabzon) artist became the symbol of the monastery. The Church of the Assumption of the Virgin and the large monastery complex had 5 floors and a total of 72 rooms. The upper floor was used as a gallery and a lookout post. The whole building was full of frescoes and the wall paintings. The large part of the building was hewn out of the rock. It stands in front of a beautiful valley scenery and sharp rocky mountains behind.
St. Sophia Church was built in covered Greek cross architecture during the reign of King Manuel I Kommenos in 13th century. Muslim Seljuk stone workers also worked for the construction of the church and it continued its service until 1670 after Ottomans invaded the region. It was converted into a mosque in 1670 and served as a storage and hospital during World War I. Later it served as a mosque again. St. Sophia Church was converted into a museum in 1964 and is located in 3 kilometers west of the city. It is not to be confused with St. Sophia Museum in Istanbul.