The Turquoise Coast Sights

Senpiyer Kilisesi (Church of St. Peter)

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Published 07/06/2016

Fodor's 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 rocks. According to tradition this is where the apostle secretly preached to his converts and where they first came to be called Christians. It is one of the oldest churches in existence; the facade you see, however, was added by the crusaders in the 11th to 12th century. The area around it was a cemetery in classical times, and there are numerous rock-cut tombs and tunnels. A path leads up to the 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. The church was declared a site of pilgrimage by Pope Paul VI, and religious services are sometimes arranged for foreign tourists on Sunday evenings in June.

Sight Information

Address:

Off Kurtuluş Cad., well signposted, Antakya, Hatay, 31000, Turkey

Sight Details:

  • 10 TL
  • Apr.–Oct., Mon.–Sat. 8–6:30; Nov.–Mar., Mon.–Sat. 8–4:30

Published 07/06/2016

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