Antakya in Turkey

Friday, 9 July 2021 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Union for the Mediterranean
Reading Time:  6 minutes

© flickr.com - maarten sepp2011/cc-by-sa-2.0

© flickr.com – maarten sepp2011/cc-by-sa-2.0

Antakya, historically known as Antioch, is the capital of Hatay Province, the southernmost province of Turkey. The city is located in a well-watered and fertile valley on the Orontes River, about 20 kilometers (12 mi) from the Levantine Sea. The cuisine of Antakya is renowned. Its cuisine is considered levantine rather than Turkish. The cuisine offers plenty of meals, where beef and lambs are mainly used. Popular dishes include the typical Turkish kebab, served with spices and onions in flat unleavened bread, with yoghurt as ali nazik kebab, oruk, kaytaz böreği and katıklı ekmek . Hot spicy food is a feature of this part of Turkey, along with Turkish coffee and local specialities.

Today’s city stands partly on the site of the ancient Antiochia (also known as “Antioch on the Orontes”), which was founded in the 4th century BC by the Seleucid Empire. Antioch later became one of the Roman Empire‘s largest cities, and was made the capital of the provinces of Syria and Coele-Syria. It was also an influential early center of Christianity, and gained much ecclesiastical importance in the Byzantine Empire. Captured by Umar ibn al-Khattab in the 7th century, the medieval Antakiyah was conquered or re-conquered several times: by the Byzantines in 969, the Seljuks in 1084, the Crusaders in 1098, the Mamluks in 1268, and eventually the Ottomans in 1517, who would integrate it to the Aleppo Eyalet then to the Aleppo Vilayet. The city joined the Hatay State under the French Mandate before joining the Turkish Republic.

Mount Habib-i Neccar and the city walls which climb the hillsides symbolise Antakya, making the city a formidable fortress built on a series of hills running north-east to south-west. Antakya was originally centred on the east bank of the river. Since the 19th century, the city has expanded with new neighbourhoods built on the plains across the river to the south-west, and four bridges connect the old and new cities. Many of the buildings of the last two decades are styled as concrete blocks, and Antakya has lost much of its classic beauty. The narrow streets of the old city can become clogged with traffic.

Although the port city Iskenderun has become the largest city in Hatay, Antakya is a provincial capital still of considerable importance as the centre of a large district. The draining of Lake Amik and development of land has caused the region’s economy to grow in wealth and productivity. The town is a lively shopping and business centre with many restaurants, cinemas and other amenities. This district is centred on a large park opposite the governor’s building and the central avenue Kurtuluş Caddesı. The tea gardens, cafes and restaurants in the neighbourhood of Harbiye are popular destinations, particularly for the variety of meze in the restaurants. The Orontes River can be malodorous when water is low in summer. Rather than formal nightlife, in the summer heat, people will stay outside until late in the night to walk with their families and friends, and munch on snacks.

Church of St Peter, according to the Vatican, the oldest church of Christianity © Volkan Hatem/cc-by-2.5 Courtyard of the Church of Apostles Peter and Paul © Maarten Sepp/cc-by-sa-4.0 © flickr.com - maarten sepp2011/cc-by-sa-2.0 Habib-i Neccar Cami mosque © Dosseman/cc-by-sa-4.0 Market Square © Ryesiloglu © panoramio.com - Ben Bender/cc-by-sa-3.0
<
>
Church of St Peter, according to the Vatican, the oldest church of Christianity © Volkan Hatem/cc-by-2.5
The long and varied history has created many architectural sites of interest. There is much for visitors to see in Antakya, although many buildings have been lost in the rapid growth and redevelopment of the city in recent decades.

  • Hatay Archaeology Museum has the second largest collection of Roman mosaics in the world.
  • The rock-carved Church of St Peter, with its network of refuges and tunnels carved out of the rock, a site of Christian pilgrimage. There are also tombs cut into the rock face at various places along the Orontes valley.
  • Old market district: It offers plenty of traditional shops, where you can explore what you have not seen before. It is exactly in the city centre, you are in when you see the sign Uzun Çarşı Caddesi.
  • The seedy Gündüz cinema in the city centre was once used as parliament building of the Republic of Hatay.
  • The waterfalls at the Harbiye / Daphne promenade.
  • The Ottoman Habib’i Neccar Mosque, the oldest mosque in Antakya and one of the oldest in Anatolia.
  • The labyrinth of narrow streets and old Antakya houses. This district is the oldtown in fact.
  • Vespasianus Titus Tunnel-Samandagı. It is approximately 35 km. far from the centre.
  • Beşikli Cave and Graves (the antique city of Seleukeia Pierria)
  • St. Simon Monastery
  • Bagras (Bakras) Castle, which was built in antiquity and restored many times in later centuries (particularly during the Crusades, when it was a stronghold of the Knights Templar), served as a watchtower on the 27 km (17 mi) mountain road from İskenderun (Alexandretta) to Antakya (Antioch).
  • The panoramic view of the city from the heights of Mount Habib-i Neccar
  • St. Paul Orthodox Church

With its rich architectural heritage, Antakya is a member of the Norwich-based European Association of Historic Towns and Regions. The Roman bridge (thought to date from the era of Diocletian) was destroyed in 1972 during the widening and channelling of the Orontes.

Read more on Antakya, Wikivoyage Antakya and Wikipedia Antakya (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.






Recommended posts:

Share this post: (Please note data protection regulations before using buttons)

The Lighthouse of Saint-Mathieu

The Lighthouse of Saint-Mathieu

[caption id="attachment_153495" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Abbay and lighthouse of Saint-Mathieu © Pline/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Saint-Mathieu lighthouse is a lighthouse located on Pointe Saint-Mathieu in Plougonvelin, around Brest in Finistère. The lighthouse is open to the public. Saint-Mathieu was built in 1835 among the ruins of the ancient Abbaye Saint-Mathieu de Fine-Terre. It is a major lighthouse of the French coast, with a theoretical range of 29 nautical miles (around 55 km). It was classifie...

[ read more ]

The MSC Orchestra

The MSC Orchestra

[caption id="attachment_213746" align="aligncenter" width="590"] in Tallinn © Bin im Garten/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]MS MSC Orchestra is a cruise ship that was built in 2007 for MSC Cruises. She is the second ship of the Musica class. She could at the time accommodate 2,550 passengers in 1,275 cabins. Most inside cabins were later refitted with two bunk beds and therefore she can now accommodate 3,200 passengers. Her crew complement is approximately 990. On April 30, 2007, the MSC Orchestra was handed over...

[ read more ]

Theme Week Saudi Arabia - Medina

Theme Week Saudi Arabia - Medina

[caption id="attachment_166019" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Al-Masjid al-Nabawi - Mosque of the Prophet © Aymanzaid2/cc-by-sa-4.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Medina, also transliterated as Madīnah, is a city in the Hejaz region of Saudi Arabia that is also the capital of the Al Madinah Region. The city contains al-Masjid an-Nabawi ("the Prophet's Mosque"), which is the burial place of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and is the second-holiest city in Islam after Mecca. Medina was Muhammad's destination after his Hijrah from Me...

[ read more ]

Coronado in California

Coronado in California

[caption id="attachment_150592" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Hotel del Coronado © Dirk Hansen/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Coronado, also known as Coronado Island, is an affluent resort city located in San Diego County, California, across (and helping to form) San Diego Bay from downtown San Diego. Its population is at 23.500. Coronado is Spanish for "the crowned one", and thus it is nicknamed The Crown City. Coronado lies on geographic combination of an island and a tombolo connected to the mainland called the Si...

[ read more ]

Theme Week Iceland - Ísafjörður

Theme Week Iceland - Ísafjörður

[caption id="attachment_163719" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Fishery Museum © TommyBee[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Ísafjörður (meaning ice fjord or fjord of ice) is a town in the northwest of Iceland. It is the seat of Ísafjarðarbær municipality. With a population of about 2,600, Ísafjörður is the largest town in the peninsula of Vestfirðir (Westfjords) and the seat of the Ísafjarðarbær municipality, which includes the nearby Hnífsdalur, Flateyri, Suðureyri, and Þingeyri. It is located on a spit of sand, or ey...

[ read more ]

Merlion in Singapore

Merlion in Singapore

[caption id="attachment_219831" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © Unwicked/cc-by-sa-4.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Merlion is the official mascot of Singapore, depicted as a mythical creature with the head of a lion and the body of a fish. Being of prominent symbolic nature to Singapore and Singaporeans in general, it is widely used to represent both the city state and its people in sports teams, advertising, branding, tourism and as a national personification. The Merlion was first used in Singapore as the logo for...

[ read more ]

Theme Week Nepal - Janakpur

Theme Week Nepal - Janakpur

[caption id="attachment_201681" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Janki Mandir © Abhishek Dutta - abhishekdutta.org/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Janakpur is the headquarters of Dhanusa District at Province No. 2 in Nepal. The city is a centre for religious and cultural tourism. It has been declared as the temporary capital for Province no. 2 until Province Assembly votes for a permanent capital. This city is also known as Janakpurdham, which was founded in the early 18th century. According to oral tradition, an earlier...

[ read more ]

Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria

Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria

[caption id="attachment_6449" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Seen from Northeast © Cezary Piwowarski/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Neuschwanstein Castle is a 19th-century Romanesque Revival palace on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen in southwest Bavaria. The palace was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and as an homage to Richard Wagner. Contrary to common belief, Ludwig paid for the palace out of his personal fortune and extensive borrowing, not with Bavarian public fund...

[ read more ]

Lisbon, the white city

Lisbon, the white city

[caption id="attachment_146422" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © Stefan Didam-Schmallenberg[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Nowhere in Portugal visitors will find a more impressive reminder of the great seafaring tradition and the wealth of the former colonial power than in the capital. It seems as if one would breathe history and even untrained eyes can see "Once here was power and money at home!". Much is well preserved, especially the pride of the residents. Lisbon is one of the quieter, yet vibrant European cities with the typi...

[ read more ]

The Nobel Peace Prize for 2012

The Nobel Peace Prize for 2012

[caption id="attachment_6597" align="alignleft" width="266"] Photo: Thomas Widerberg © The Nobel Foundation 2007. Nobel Prize® and the Nobel Prize® media design mark are the registered trademarks of the Nobel Foundation.©[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2012 is to be awarded to the European Union (EU). The union and its forerunners have for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe. ...

[ read more ]

Return to Top ▲Return to Top ▲
Hadar Yossef National Sports Center © Little Savage/cc-by-sa-4.0
Yarkon Park in Tel Aviv

Yarkon Park is a large park in Tel Aviv, Israel, with about sixteen million visits annually. Named after the Yarkon...

Golders Hill Park © geograph.org.uk - Martin Addison/cc-by-sa-2.0
Golders Green in London

Golders Green is an area in the London Borough of Barnet in England. A smaller suburban linear settlement, near a...

Fourth of July at the U.S. Capitol © flickr.com - Architect of the Capitol
Fourth of July, Independence Day in the United States

Independence Day (colloquially the Fourth of July or July 4) is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the...

Schließen