Antakya by Any Other Name

You might be familiar with Antakya by it’s previous name: Antioch. Yes, ladies and gentleman, this is the city where the word “Christian” was first used as early Christians worshiped in secret in a cave now known as the Church of St. Peter. The Church of St. Peter is located on the Mountain of the Cross. Both Peter and Paul are believed to have preached here.

While the church was originally simply a cave, the First Crusaders added a narthex, a vestibule, and a wall in 1098. Carrying on the grand tradition of the First Crusaders, the Turkish government is now constructing a museum at the sight, and so the complex itself was closed for restoration. Nevertheless, here is a picture of the Mountain of the Cross:

St Peters Church

The church complex is the grey slab in the middle there.

The Antioch Hillside

Here are some Syrian refugees chilling on the hillside in front of the church.

The Christian tradition is alive and well in Antakya. There’s an Orthodox church, a Roman Catholic church, and a Korean Protestant church. All but the Roman Catholic Church were closed (which confused me; why would the churches be closed on a Sunday? It’s not that they were closed for services, they were just closed).

Korean Protestant Church

The Korean Protestant Church

The Orthodox Church

The (slightly crooked) Orthodox Church

Here’s the inside of the Roman Catholic Church.

The Catholic Church

The Catholic Church

The Catholic Church

The Catholic Church

The Catholic Church

There’s also an synagogue, which was also closed.

The Synagogue


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