The restoration of the Panagia Soumela Monastery in Turkey has revealed a stunning surprise.
Closed to tourists for the past two years, restoration specialists undertaking the project have since stumbled upon a hidden chapel that is only accessible via a hidden passageway.
Located in the Trabzon province in northern Turkey, formerly known as Trapezounta, the area was once inhabited by a large community of Pontian Greeks.
The chapel features intricate murals with depictions of heaven, hell, life nd death, and are believed to date back centuries.
Once restorations of the entire monastery are complete, including the chapel, visitors will for the first time in years be able to access the chapel by climbing wooden ladders to a secret passage of corridors.
Built in 386 AD, the monastery complex is a dedication to the Virgin Mary and is considered one of the most sacred Greek Orthodox sites in the world.