The Islamic offensives against Christians during the High Middle Ages led them to build monasteries in places that were very difficult to access.
The ones in Greece are very famous, but there are also ones in Turkey. One of them was Nukas Sakdari, a monastery of the Georgian Orthodox Church founded in the 9th or 10th century in the ancient kingdom of Tao-Klarjeti, also known as Eastern Iberia (to distinguish it from the Iberian Peninsula). Iberian). That kingdom occupied part of what is the current Republic of Georgia, one of the oldest Christian countries in the world. It is said that Nukas Sakdari was part of a network of 13 monasteries that were hidden in the mountains of this area, now located in the province of Artvin, in northeastern Turkey, and that these monasteries were connected through secret tunnels
The most important of these monasteries was that of Nukas Sakdari. Today, only the church remains standing, which has been abandoned for a long time. Of the rest of the monastery, only a few ruins remain. The most surprising thing about Nukas Sakdari is its location, hidden in a valley and in a place that seems almost impossible: the wall of a cliff. These monasteries were built like this to protect themselves from Muslim attacks. It is not hard to imagine the reason for their abandonment knowing facts such as the Armenian Genocide perpetrated by the Turks between 1915 and 1923, in which more than 2 millions of Christians in Asia Minor, in an area close to this monastery. These ruins are today a memory of a very remote and ancient Christian culture, which is still preserved today in countries like Georgia and Armenia.
Adventurer Mike Corey recently posted an interesting report about this monastery, showing its interior, which he was able to access thanks to the help of a Turkish local who used to guide travelers who came to visit that church. That local, Nizam, died of a heart attack last February. The video is a nice tribute to the work he did showing off this spectacular site to those who came to see it:
You can see here some captures of the video. Here we see the spectacular valley in which the monastery stood. The Church of Nukas Sakdari appears in this image (in the center), but it is so camouflaged with its surroundings that it is difficult to distinguish it.
An aerial image of Nukas Sakdari. It is amazing that they managed to build a monastery in such a place in the 9th century.
An image of the church, seen up close. It is attached to the wall of a cliff and is very difficult to access.
An image of the few remaining remains of the old monastery. In the video they also find what appears to be a vaulted crypt.
The interior of the Church of Nukas Sakdari , currently abandoned and in ruins. Mike Corey spent a night there.
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