The Turquoise Coast Sights

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Senpiyer Kilisesi (Church of St. Peter)

Senpiyer Kilisesi (Church of St. Peter) Review

On the northern edge of town is Senpiyer Kilisesi, or Saint Peter Church—a tiny cave high up on a cliff, blackened by centuries of candle smoke and dripping with water seeping out of the rock. According to tradition this is where the apostle secretly preached to his converts and where they first came to be called Christians. It may well be the oldest of all churches; the facade you see, however, was added by the crusaders in the 11th-12th centuries. Closed for renovations since 2012, the church will hopefully be open when you arrive. The area around it was a cemetery in classical times, and there are numerous rock-cut tombs and tunnels. A path leads up to giant carved face of Charon, the legendary boatman who took the dead across the river Styx. Adventurous visitors can follow the valley just south to view a large section of the Byzantine walls, which also served as a bridge and dam.

    Contact Information

  • Address: Off Kurtuluş Cad., well signposted, Antakya
  • Cost: 10 TL
  • Hours: Daily 9–noon and 1–6
  • Location: Antakya (Antioch)
Updated: 11-21-2013

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