SACRED IN SECRET
Old Byzantion Monastery carved into the Stone
In 1963, Some of Cappadocia's (Turkey) best-preserved ancient rock-hewn monastery and most captivating frescoes discovered as hidden within the rocks. The Monastery from the aerial wiew is a square structure from the surface to the underground level about 20X20 metres which was built by digging and carving the stone.
The Monastery is covered with colourful Byzantine frescoes which were painted between the 7th and 11th centuries. The frescoe which depicts the elongated Mary giving a Mona Lisa smile is said to be the only smiling Mary depiction in the world.
The frescoe which depicts the elongated Mary giving a Mona Lisa smile
Entrance of the Monastery
Although the frescoes are the monastery's most exciting feature, the warren of rooms are must to see either. The complex is entered via a rock-cut passage, which opens onto a large courtyard with reservoirs for wine and oil. There is also a kitchen and a refectory. A small hole in the ground acts as a vent for a 9m-deep shaft leading to two levels of subterranean rooms. wisitors can descend through the chambers or climb to an upstairs bedroom.
Above is the Armenian Cross in the monastery
Old Gümüşler Monastery is about 10 km northeast of Niğde province of Turkey.