|Location:||South of Trabzon|
|Classification:||cave monastery Cave Church|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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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.