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The Monastery of Panagia Theoskepastos

Turkey, Ortahisar (Trabzon)

The Monastery of Panagia Theoskepastos

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The Panagia Theoskepastos Monastery (Παναγία Θεοσκέπαστος, the God-guarded»), today known in Turkish Kızlar Monastery, is a former female  monastery built during the Empire of Trebizond.

It lies at the foot of Boztepe mountain over-looking the city of Trabzon. The monastery complex built on two terraces, is surrounded by a protective  high wall. The monastery was founded in the reign of Alexios III (1349–1390). Having undergone major repairs several times it assumed its present  form in the 19th century. The monastery initially comprised the rock church on the south side the chapel in its entrance and a few cells as well as a  library, small basilica and bell tower. Inside the rock church there are inscriptions and portraits of Alexios III, his wife Theodora and his mother  Irene. Panagia Theoskepastos had been under the restoration plan of Turkish Ministry of Culture, therefore, it is open to the visitors in 2022. During  the restorations, several AR performances are placed in the monastic complex in order to present the monastic life to the visitors.

The cave in the hillside of the monastery was probably once associated with the cult of Mithras. Afterwards the cave may have been a church before it  was incorporated into the Theoskepastos monastery, which was probably founded, refounded, or endowed in the 1340s by Eirene (mother of Grand  Komnenos Alexios III of the Trebizond empire). The monastery held extensive properties and was the only known convent in the pocket Byzantine  empire of Trebizond. The monastery housed the tombs of Andronikos (d. 1376) son of Alexios III, of Grand Komnenos Manuel III (d. 1417) and of  Grand Komnenos Alexios IV (d. 1429) before the latter’s remains were transferred to outside the Panayia Chrysokephalos Church. During the local  wars in 1758–9 between the Derebeys (valley lords) and the Pasha of Trabzon, the central and lower walled cities, the St Eugenios Church and the  walled Theoskepastos monastery were used as Derebey strongholds against the Pasha and his Janissary garrison in the upper citadel Building continued  in the Theoskepastos throughout the second half of the 19th century. A large range was added (probably after 1889) on the north side of the  courtyard. A belfry was erected beside the hall. To the northeast of the cave church a small chapel was built. The western end of the chapel abuts the  side of the cave church. The chapel’s drum and dome have been destroyed. The St Constantine church was also built in the southeast corner of the  compound by Trabzon’s Greek Metropolitan Constantinos (reign 1830–79). In 1916, the Russian officer, Sergei Mintslov, observed that in the cave  church an icon-portrait of Alexios Komnenos and his wife could still be seen. He also noted that the nun’s cells seem to hang over the cliff.



Información de la localidad

The Monastery of Panagia Theoskepastos
Other monuments and places to visitHagia Sophia (Trabzon), Hagia Anna Church, the Museum of Trabzon.
Natural Heritage
Historical Recreations
Festivals of Tourist Interest
Tourist Office
Specialized Guides
Guided visits
AccommodationsHotel or bed and breakfast in the center, several options from 5-star hotels to the pensions can be found around the area.
RestaurantsRadisson Blu Hotel (Boztepe, Numan Gül Cad.Çamlık Sok No:2, 61030 Ortahisar/Trabzon), Boztepe Tea Garden (Boztepe, Iran Cd. No:192, 61030 Trabzon Merkez/Trabzon
Monument or place to visitPanagia Theoskepastos Monastery (Παναγία Θεοσκέπαστος)
Style1349-1390, late medieval complex as well as modern addictions.
TypeEnclosured monastic complex.
Epoch14th century – present.
State of conservationGood condition (Under restoration plans).
Degree of legal protection
Mailing addressBoztepe, Mht. Coşkun Karaağaçlı Street. No:30, 61030 Ortahisar/Trabzon
Coordinates GPS 40.9985°N 39.7290°E
Property, dependency
Possibility of visits by the general public or only specialists
Accessible to public visitors.
Conservation needs
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 city center to Boztepe, 121, 135A, 277A, 501 and the visitor has to walk for approximately 4 minutes.
Signaling if it is registered on the route
Not yet registered.
William Miller, Trebizond: The last Greek Empire of the Byzantine Era: 1204-1461, Chicago: Argonaut, 1969.
Antonio Sagona, The Heritage of Eastern Turkey from Earliest Settlements to Islam, Macmillan, 2016
Anthony M. Bryer, The Byzantine Monuments and Topography of the Pontos, ACLS Humanities, 2009.
Bryer, A 1968, ‘Nineteenth-century monuments in the city and vilayet of Trebizond: architectural and historical
notes Part 2’, Archeion Pontou [Pontic Archives] vol. 29, pp 89–129.
Information websiteswikipedia.org
LocationBoztepe, Mht. Coşkun Karaagaçlı Street. No:30, 61030 Ortahisar/Trabzon