Situated in a very beautiful and natural setting, Sumela Monastery built in the 14th century is nestled into the side of rocks in a famous valley.
This important 14th century monastery is only 50 Kms away from Trabzon, the coastal Black Sea city of Turkey. The setting is 1200 metrs above the sea level.
Two Greek monks, Barnaba and Sophronios started the original building. The 7th century Icona apparently painted by an anonymous Trbizond (Trabzon) artist became the symbol of the monastery. It is believed that the name "Sumela" comes from the Greek word "melas" which means "black" and it rfers to the characteristic dark color of this icona.
The Church of the Assumption of the Virgin and the large monastery complex had 5 floors and a total of 72 rooms. The upper floor was used as a gallery and a lookout post. The whole building was full of frscoes and the walls. The large par of the building was hewn out of the rock. It stands in front of a beautiful valley scenery and sharp rocky mountains behind.