Discover modern Antakya, commonly known as Hatay, and biblical Antioch, known as one of the
famous sites of antiquity.
Begin your tour with a one-hour drive to Antakya, the capital of the Seleucid kings during
Roman times. Starting in 301 BC it was called Antioch and became the center of Christianity,
visited by St. Barnabas, St. Paul and St. Peter. Today, the modern city of Antakya sits atop
much of the ancient town and very little remains of Antioch.
The new section lies along the western bank of the Asi River (the ancient Orontes), which divides
the city in half. The older section occupies the eastern river bank, which features buildings from
the Ottoman Empire and the French Protectorate. The culturally diverse city is home to a mixture
of Arab- and Turkish-speaking people, as well as a Christian minority.
Upon arrival, begin your sightseeing with a visit to Antioch’s biblical site.
Cave Church of St. Peter
Under Roman rule, a sizeable Christian community developed in Antioch. St. Peter lived here and St.
Paul and Barnabas used the town as their missionary center, from where they started their journeys
between 47 and 55 AD. It is believed that St. Peter preached inside this grotto and founded here the
Christian community. In the 13th century, a church was erected on this spot and declared a holy site
by the Vatican in 1983.
Following your visit, proceed to one of Antakya’s most important attractions – its museum.
Antakya Archaeological Museum
The museum, also called the Mosaic Museum, is justly famous for its rich collection of Roman and
Byzantine mosaics. Other exhibits include Roman and Byzantine coins, statues, glassware and tools.
There will be some free time in Antakya before starting the drive back to Iskenderun.