Holy Monasteries

Coordinates: 40.409989, 22.117120

Monastery of Panagia Sumela

On the green slopes of mount Vermio, near the village of Kastania, is the famous monastery of Panagia Sumela, the spiritual centre of the Greeks of Pontus (the area on the southern coast of the Black Sea) and one of the most important pilgrimages in Greece.

The monastery was founded with the initiative of the author Filon Ktenidis, who descended from Pontus, and the “Panagia Sumela” Association, in an effort to revive the historical monastery with the same name at Mount Melas, near Trebizond. That monastery, according to tradition, has been founded in the end of the 4th century, and for centuries it operated with the favor of the Byzantine emperors, possessing wealth and privileges, which it maintained after the fall of the Byzantine empire, also obtaining a symbolic significance for the people of Pontus for almost sixteen centuries. It was destroyed by the Turks in 1922 and its relics, together with the icon of the Virgin Mary, were transferred to Greece in 1931 after an intervention by Eleftherios Venizelos and with the contribution of the monks that knew where they were kept. The monastery at Vermio was founded in 1951 at an area that was granted by the people of the cillage of Kastania, whio descended from the area of Pontus, and its inauguration took place in 1952. 

Nowadays, the complex includes two churches, many hostels and every kind of auxiliary facilities for servicing visitors and pilgrims. The catholicon is a majestic church of Byzantine order and at its interior they keep the miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary, which is considered the work of Luke the Evangelist and comes from the historic monastery of Pontus. Furthermore, there is also a great library, as well as an exhibition area of precious ecclesiastical vessels, icons and vestments.

The monastery is dedicated to the Dormition of the Virgin Mary and it celebrates on the 15th of August.


Contact phone:




15 August

Holy Metropolis:
Veria and Naousa

Kastania 59100

By car

Parking: Free 



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