Sümela Manastırı

Μονή Παναγίας Σουμελά - Moní Panagías Soumelá - Saint Sumela Monastery

Useful Information

Sümela Manastırı, Turkey. Public Domain.
Location: South of Trabzon
Classification: cave monastery SubterraneaCave Church
Light: electric
Dimension: A=1,071m asl.
Guided tours:  
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
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386 founded during the reign of the Emperor Theodosius I.


The Sümela Manastırı (Saint Sumela Monastery) is an impressive cave monastry built into the overhanging cliff face of the Altındere valley, near Maçka in Trabzon Province. The Greek Orthodox monastry is a major tourist attraction of Altındere National Park.

According to legend an icon of Mary, the mother of Jesus, was drawn by Evangelist Lucas and after his death two angels brought it to a cave high up in the mountains. It was discovered by two priests in 386 AD, during the reign of the Emperor Theodosius I (375-395), in a cave on the mountain. The miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary was the reason why a monastery was founded at this place andcalled the monastery of the Mother of God of the Black Mountain

But the monastery is Greek Orthodox and the celebration of a liturgy is not allowed in modern Turkey. So the monastery is abandoned today and only a ruin and a tourist site.