Kuştul Monastery (Turkish: Kuştul Manastırı, Greek: Ιερά Μονή του Αγίου Γεωργίου Περιστερεώτα) is located near Şimşirli village, Maçka district, Trabzon Province, Turkey. Founded in 752 CE at 30 km southeast of Trabzon, it was finally closed on January 17, 1923, when the monks along with other Greeks were expelled to Greece. After 1906 fire, it was restored. A monastery with the same name was inaugurated on June 16, 1978, in Naousa, Imathia, which is where the monks of Kuştul Monastery are buried. The monastery is abandoned and only the base of the church survives today.
The monastery's Greek name is Saint George Peristereotas. The name was derived from the monk Peristereotis (peristeri meaning pidgeon in Greek). Legend has it that a flock of pidgeons descended from the forests of Sourmena and guided 3 monks who were carrying the icon of Saint George to the place where the monastery was built.
During its heyday the monastery consisted of 187 rooms/cells and a large library which housed over 7000 volumes of works. In 1203 and after 450 years of continuous use, the monastery was depopulated and for 2 centuries no monk lived within it. In 1398 permission was granted by The Emperor of Trapezus, Manuel III for the monastery to reopen. In 1462 the monastery was partly destroyed when robbers and looters stole many of it's heirlooms. Many of it's possessions were also lost in the fires of 1483. In 1501 the monastery was placed under the patriarch's jurisdiction up until the beginning of 20th century. The monastery was again depopulated in 1922 following the Population exchange between Greece and Turkey in 1923.
- ↑ Meaning: "Holy Monastery of Saint George Peristereota" (formal name). The name "Peristereota" derives from the Greek word peristeri (περιστέρι = pigeon), because legend has it that three pigeons led the three different monks who founded the monastery to the location.
- ↑ Η Ιστορία της Μονής στον Πόντο, peristereota.com
- ↑ Η Ιστορία της Μονής στην Ελλάδα, peristereota.com
- ↑ Kuştul Monastery, trabzon.gov.tr
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