The majestic Sumela Monastery in Turkey's Black Sea province of Trabzon aims to welcome a total of 500,000 local and foreign tourists this year, APA reports citing Anadolu Agency.
Ali Ayvazoglu, the provincial head of the Culture and Tourism Ministryç said that built on a steep cliff at an altitude of 1,200 meters in Altindere National Park, the monastic complex have hosted around 50,000 tourists until last month after it opened to visitors on May 25 following a three-year restoration work.
Located in the Macka district of Trabzon, the monastery is a site of historical and cultural significance as well as a major tourist attraction. It was included in UNESCO's temporary list of World Heritage sites in 2000.
The monastery was also reopened for religious use on Aug. 15, 2010 with the permission of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, following an 88-year hiatus.
The restoration and environmental planning of the Sumela Monastery was launched in February 2016.
The cliff-face monastery drew the attention of foreign and local tourists despite being closed to visit due to restoration work, Ayvazoglu said, adding nearly 290,000 tourists were hosted in 2018.
According to UNESCO website, the construction of the monastery had begun in 385 A.D.