a city of delights...a christian holy city...
nothing really (probably had to do with the company ;-)
Worth a day trip, but I couldn't say if it is worth much else...maybe?
Now essentially a suburb of Antakya, Harbiye was once a Roman summer resort named Daphne, and if you've been to the archaeological museum you'll already have seen several mosaics from there. Today, there's not much evidence of the area's rich history, but it is still something of a summer resort, attracting Arabic-speaking tourists to its...more
The highlight of Antakya is supposed to be this cave church, a couple of kilometres from the city centre. I'd read about it, seen a couple of pictures, and was quite curious to see it, so set off one afternoon along the long Kurtulus Caddesi. It's a long walk, but the weather was dry and sort of sunny, and I always prefer to walk than take a taxi...more
Cutting through the middle of the city, the Asi River is not the most impressive of rivers, but it's banks are still a pleasant place to walk. Unfortunately, most of the buildings on either side are modern concrete piles, not the prettiest bit of town, but in the evenings there was a constant stream of pedestrians walking in family groups, stopping...more
Touted as one of the best in the world, Antakya's Archaeology Museum stands on the riverside in a modern building, just across the river from Old Antakya. The entrance has a few cabinets with Roman artefacts, bits of statues and columns and that sort of thing, but you haven't really come to see those. No...the star attraction is the huge collection...more
Antakya's backstreets should be explored, and the best way to do this is just to dive in and get lost. The old town isn't that huge, so you won't be lost for long as you'll emerge on a busy road or in the market area at some point, and there are a fair few cafes in attractive old houses worth hunting down. It reminded me a bit of Old Damascus, the...more
St. Peter's Church is one of the oldest churches in the world. It was here that St. Peter, St. Paul (formerly Saul) and St. Barnabas preached and where the first Christians prayed.St. Peter came to preach in a cave here in 29 AD and stayed here until 40 AD. The cave chapel measures 13m x 9.5m x 7m. His congregation were the first people to call...more
Habib-I Neccar Mosque is the oldest mosque in Turkey, It was built in 636 AD. The present minaret was added in the 17th century. Habib-I Neccar means "my beloved carpenter". The carpenter to whom the mosque is dedicated was killed by pagans whilst trying to protect two disciples sent to Antioch by Jesus.Visitors are welcome inside the mosque and...more
The Antakya Archaeological Museum was built in the 1930s under the supervision of the French archaeologist, M. Prost. It may not look like much from the outside, but inside the Museum of Archaeology houses a magnificent set of Byzantine mosaics, sculptures and great treasures like the Antakya Sarcophagus. There are also many exhibits from the...more
This is the the place where i spent lot's of weekends in my childhood. Hatay Museum has one of the most impressive Roman mosaic collections in the world. There you find inspiring pictorial tales of Poseidon, Aphrodite, Dionysus, Daphne, Narcissus and many other ancient heroins/heroes. Still colourful and spirited.more
If you follow the path from St Peters Rock Church you will come to a rock with relief of two faces, the face of Haron and Miriam (Mary). I could not remember the story of the faces so I wrote to my friend Zehra. Neither shoe could remember the story so she went to the church to ask the people there (Thank you Zehra! It was very sweet of you!). The...more
The cave is a natural cave with an altar and with a statue above. In the cave small traces of old frescos and floor mosaics can be seen.Through the rock in one corner there used to dripp water, which was said to cure sicknesses and was used for baptism. But when I was there there was no water, only an almost empty bucket.The church is situated 2-3...more
St Peter's cave-church is regarded as the world's first official Christian church. St Peter lived in Antioch for some years and it was here the new religion first got the name Christianity. In the cave the first Christians met and prayed secretly.The front wall was constructed by the crusaders in the 11th century.more
In the hills, about 8 km south of Antakya, is the town of Harbiye. It is the ancient Daphne and was during Roman time a wealthy summer resort with villas. Today there is a popular picnic area in Harbiye. A road is winding down the valley from the main road. Along the way there are many cafes, pools and small waterfalls. It is green with many trees...more
Antakya Archaeology Museum has an outstanding collection of Roman mosaics from the 1st - 5th centuries AD. Most of them come from Roman villas in Harbiye (Daphne) or by the sea side. Just imagine, who were the people once having those fine mosaics in their homes. What a beautiful decoration they must have made!Many of the mosaics have motifs from...more
On the west side of the river, just past the museum, is Antakya Belediyesi Park. With all its trees giving shadow it is a pleasant place to visit during a hot day. There are several cafes where you can sit down to have a coffee and ice-cream, or a small snack (like a toast).Next to the park there is a swimming pool. I couldn't see it as it is...more
There is a popular picnic area in Harbiye. Along the road down the valley there are many cafes, pools, streams and waterfalls. It is green with many trees and it is a cool place to come to a hot summer day.Some of the tables even stand in the water so you will have running cold water over your feet. You can come here just to have tea or you can...more
There are several cafes in the park and it is a nice place to sit down at to have a rest. For Nescafe and dondurma (ice-cream) I paid 2 500 000 TL at one place and 3 000 000TL at another cafe.In the evening when Zehra and I went there there was a lot of people. I don't know if it is like that all summer evenings, but this evening was when the...more
Herby is a cafe and fast food restaurant with three floors on Hürriyet Caddesi. I went here with Zehra who is from Antakya. She recomended the place and also said the third foor is best, it is cooler and have a big TV screen with music videos.You can eat fast food or ice-cream or have something to drink here. Nescafe is 1 200 000 TL.Tea is 1 000...more
Antiochia Pub is a small bar. The clientele here are all local men, but it is a friendly place and the beer is quite cheap.
The Turkish company Jet Turizm runs a reliable link between Antakya and Aleppo.The trip is around 4 hours long, but everything depends on the length of the custom control.The buses depart from the main Bus Station (Otogar) of Antakya and leave you in centre at Aleppo. The run further to Damascus.Jet has links with other bus companies in Turkey and...more
From Latakia in Syria I wanted to go to Antakya, without going all way back to Aleppo. I did not know if it was possible first. But at the bus station I bought a ticket for 500 SP (10 dollars), which I thought was expensive compared to other tickets in Syria. Arriving at the bus station the morning after I understood why the ticket was expensive....more
I went with Zehra to the school where she works. She told me that every Monday morning all schoolchildren gather in the schoolyard, they sing the national hymn and fly the flag. Every Friday, before going home, they gather again in the schoolyard, sing the national hymn and take the flag down. How different from Sweden!more
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The Haron-Cehennem stone relief, also known as the Boatman of Hell, is carved in the mountainside near St. Peter's Church. It was carved, during the reign of Antiochus IV, between 175 and 164 BC, when a plague struck the city and the people started to carve the relief as an offering to the gods. They abandoned the carving when the plague stopped,...more
The Antakya Sarcophagus was discovered in 1993 in Harbiye Street in Hatay, when the foundations for a new building were being dug. It is one of the great surviving treasures of the Roman world. The beautifully decorated, marble chest measures 2.5m x 2.33m x 1.25m. Inside it were found: three skeletons belonging to one male and two females; some jewellery: a black amber bracelet, a pair of gold earrings and a gold ring inlaid with coloured stones; purple clothing with gold buttons and three gold coins issued for Gordian III, Gallienus and Cornelia Salonina.
On the front of the chest there are five figures: one seated female, a standing bearded male, a nude youth, a standing female and a seated bearded male. The right side has a tomb portal carved in the middle in front of which a thymiaterium stands; a standing female with a sacrificial animal, and a bearded male holding a scroll in the left hand and a paterna on the right.
The rear side represents a lion-hunt scene with five hunters. Finally, the left side has three standing figures, one female between two males. On the lid, there are two reclining people (probably husband and wife).
It is displayed in a special room, with low lighting, in the Archaeological Museum and it is truly beautiful.