Imera Monastery Church

Imera Monastery Church

The Imera Monastery, situated in Olucak village in Gümüşhane, is a Christian-Orthodox monastery renowned for its unique eastern entrance and striking lighting techniques. It is considered as one of the most significant religious structures in the eastern Black Sea region.

The monastery was enclosed by high walls in 1740, and residences were constructed in 1827. The exact date of the monastery's initial construction is unknown, but it was renovated in 1859 by High Priestess Roxane. According to some written sources, the original church building dates back to 1350.

Imera Monastery Church

The structure is primarily constructed using cut stones, rubble stone, and masonry. The three apses on the east facade are narrower and lower than the main structure. The roof is built in steps, with the middle section of the naos being covered by a polygonal dome.

The building's walls are made of cut stone, adorned with carved stone figures on the facade and arches with straight sides. On one side of the building, there is a loophole window on the axis of two arched windows. Three high windows provide illumination - one adjacent to both rood screens, and an octagonal pulley at each end flanked by crenellated windows.

The colonnades on the dome are separated by arches that span half of the length of each aisle. Pointed arched pediments, embellished with angel and double-headed eagle motifs, crown each window. A stone-carved door on the west end of the south wall provides access to the interior.

The temple's entrance is flanked by half-walls, and evidence suggests that it originally had two doors in the politeion style. The innermost side features three friezes: one with grapes emerging from above a vase, another with geometric designs around each column, and the last one with arrowhead motifs.

The columns are connected by pointed arches and metal braces, and each nave has a vault at the top. The middle space is covered by a raised dome in the form of a lantern that covers the niches on the apses. The fresco paintings, which were erasable, have largely faded away, leaving only traces of their existence.