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The Monastery of Medikion

Turkey, Tirilye (Bursa)

The Monastery of Medikion

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The Monastery of Saint Sergios of Medikion (Μονή Αγίου Σεργίου του Μηδικίου), commonly simply known as the Medikion monastery (Μονή  Μηδικίου) and later as the Monastery of the Holy Fathers (Μονή των Πατέρων) is a ruined Byzantine-era monastery near modern Trilye in  Turkey (medieval Trigleia in Bithynia). It is best known for the role its founders played in opposing Byzantine iconoclasm.

The only remnants of the monastery complex is the perimeter wall (peribolos), which has a fortress-like appearance with its high walls and solid door.  Above the entrance, there is a heavily damaged inscription on which only the date 1801 is legible. The historian Adolphe Hergès, in his Les monastères  de Bithynie, indicates that the name Medikios may derive from the name for «cloverleaf» and that the church was referred to in more recent times by  the people as «Pateron«, that is, «Fathers».

Tryphon E. Evangelides and W.M. Ramsay dated the monastery’s construction to 810, but Hergès preferred a date around 780. This is now the  accepted date. The founder of the monastery was Nikephoros who restored a ruined church dedicated to Saint Michael and built the monastery around  it. Nikephotos served as its first abbot until his death and in 813. Nikephoros participated in the Second Council of Nicaea in 787, where he indicates  the monastery full original name as «Saint Sergios of Medikion». After Nikephoros’s death, his pupil Niketas became the abbot. Niketas was persecuted  with the beginning of the Second Iconoclasm during the reign of Leon V (r. 813–820). He died in 824 and is celebrated by the Orthodox Church as  an iconodule, a confessor of the faith. Both Nikephoros and Niketas were buried at the narthex of the monastery’s church of Saint Michael.

The history of the monastery is only intermittently known thereafter. The monastery was given as a grant to Michaeol Psellos in the mid-11th century,  by which time it was known as the «Monastery of the Holy Fathers», indicating a cult around the two founding hegoumenoi (head of the monastery).  However, after this moment, the monastery disappears from literary sources for centuries.

The monastery burned down in 1800, and was rebuilt in 1801, but was in a derelict condition during a visit by Frederick William Hasluck, an English  historian and archaeologist during the beginning of 20th century. Hasluck described the katholikon as «magnificent» and wrote that it was ornamented  with originally arched and black and white mosaics in the courtyard. Pancenko, who came here in 1910, drew the attention to the old icons and likened  it to «a museum where Greek Church pictures are exhibited». Evangelides defined the church as a large rectangle, and he added: «It has no roof and  columns; it is almost like a large inn deserted by its owner.



Información de la localidad

The Monastery of Medikion
Other monuments and places to visitThe Church of Panagia Pantobasilissa. the Monastery of Pelekete, Fatih Camii (Hagios Stephanos Church), Hagios Vasileos/St. Basil Church
Natural Heritage
Historical Recreations
Festivals of Tourist Interest
Tourist Office
Specialized Guides
Guided visits
AccommodationsHotel or bed and breakfast in Trilye, several options from 3-star hotels to the pensions can be found around the area.
RestaurantsTrilye Evi Otel (Tirilye, 1. iskele Caddesi No:5, 16960 Mudanya/Bursa), Trilye Akide Otel (Tirilye, Yali Sk. No:3, 16940 Mudanya/Bursa)
Monument or place to visitThe Monastery of Saint Sergios of Medikion (Μονή Αγίου Σεργίου του Μηδικίου)
StyleEarly medieval complex as well as late medieval attachments.
TypeMonastic complex.
Epochc.8th century – present.
State of conservationPoor condition.
Degree of legal protection
Mailing addressTirilye, 16960 Mudanya/Bursa
Coordinates GPS40.23°N 28.79°E
Property, dependency
Possibility of visits by the general public or only specialists
Accessible to public visitors.
Conservation needs
Restoration is needed, complex is ruined.
Visiting hours and conditions
Ticket amount
Research work in progress
There is no current restoration going on the site.
AccessibilityTo reach the entrance of the complex visitors will have to take a vehicle for transportation from Bursa to Mudanya/Trilye (57 mins), and from the center of Trilye to the monastery, 17 mins by car or 1 hr by walking.
Signaling if it is registered on the route
Not yet registered.
Nesbitt, John W.; Oikonomides, Nicolas. eds. (1996). Catalogue of Byzantine Seals at Dumbarton Oaks and in the Fogg Museum of Art, Volume 3: West, Northwest, and Central Asia Minor and the Orient. Dumbarton Oaks
Research Library and Collection.

Talbot, Alice Mary. (1991). "Medikion monastery". In Kazhdan, Alexander (ed.) The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. p. 1328.
Information websiteswikipedia.org
LocationTirilye, 16960 Mudanya/Bursa