Sümela (Trabzon)

The Sumela Monastery is a Greek Orthodox monastery dedicated to the Virgin Mary (Panagia, meaning "All Holy" in Greek) at Melá Mountain (Turkish: Karadağ, which is a direct translation of the Greek name Ssou Melá, "Black Mountain") within the Pontic Mountains (Turkish: Kuzey Anadolu Dağları) range, in the Maçka district of Trabzon Province in modern TurkeyNestled in a steep cliff at an altitude of about 1,200 metres (3,900 ft) facing the Altındere valley, it is a site of great historical and cultural significance, as well as a major tourist attraction within Altındere National Park. On 22 September 2015 the monastery was closed to the public for the duration of three years. It is scheduled to reopen for tourists and pilgrims on Assumption day 2018. During this time the monastery will be further restored, in order to qualify for the UNESCO World Heritage List. At the same time, a geological study is being conducted on the rock face towering over the monastery due to an increase in seismic activity in the area.