The underground church of John Suchavsky was built over the spring, on the place where, according to legend, in 1330 beat killed Genoese merchant John of Trapezund, who refused to accept Islam.

According to Slavic tradition, the merchant John from Trapezund, who lived in the early 14th century, traded in the Golden Horde Ackerman. John refused to convert to Islam and was severely tortured. He was tied to a wild horse that carried him around the city. John’s death was terrible – his head was cut off. At night, the place around the remains lit up. The body itself was placed in a small chapel near the Church of John the Forerunner, later indisposed relics were bought by the Moldovan governor Alexander, transported to the capital of the principality – Sochavu (modern Romania), where they are kept to this day in the monastery of George the Victorious.

In 1884, at the request of the Ackerman priest John Yenakevich, abbot of the Church of Nicholas, a piece of relic was transported to Ackerman. Originally, a stone chapel was built over the spring, whitewashed from all sides. In the chapel there was a large ancient icon depicting St. George the Great Martyr.

The name of John Suchavsky in the time of Tatar-Mongolian, and then Turkish yoke in Moldova was a symbol of loyalty to his beliefs – Christianity.

This source is also called “Praskovya Creek,” “Holy Creek,” “Praskovy Spring” according to legend in honor of a girl from a poor Christian family, who did not want to be the concubine of the mayor. Praskovya fervently asked God to deliver on the eunuchs who persecuted her. And the stone under it opened, taking into its bowels, and at this place scored a spring with cold and healing water, today they come to it from all surroundings – to swim and collect holy water.

At the end of the 19th century, a pavilion in the form of Byzantine religious architecture was built over the underground church. In the Southwest corner of the church is a rectangular well, laid out of stones. The monument is very peculiar, unparalleled in the architectural heritage of Ukraine. The underground church of St. John Suchavsky is important in the history of the orthodoxy of the region. In winter, it is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., in summer it’s open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.


St. John Suchavsky Underground Church photos


St. John Suchavsky Underground Church on map