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Hatay is one of the oldest  centres of population of Anatolia .According to surface researches and excavations done in the region ,the settlement in the region dates back to 100.000 B.C, in other words ,to the Paleolithic  period .

As a junction point connecting Anatolia to Syria and Middle East and having  the most convenient harbors for going from Mesopotamia to Mediterranean Sea ,this region became target to migrationsas an attractive place in every period of History.

Christianity , apart from Jerusalem ,expanded in Antakya for the first time .In the years 34-36 A.D . St.Paul ,St . Barnabas and St. Pierre sermonized in the streets of Antakya .It’s believed that Habib-i Neccar  event mentioned in Yasin sura in Koran , is related to the arrival  of Christianity to Antakya ,and happened in Antakya in those years. The name  of Christian was given  to the people  who believe in Jesus for the first time there.In the first century  of A.D  Antakya was the third biggest city of Rome Empire  in terms of  its acreage  and population and it was  the fourth biggest city after Rome , Alexandria and Ktepsiphon .It is mentioned in the written sources  that for the first time in the World ,Street lighting was practiced in the magnificent Street having marble columns in both sides crossing through Antakya .( Known  as Herod stret , it was in the place  of today’s Kurtuluş Street and in the same direction .)

Dominated by Crusaders for a long  time  in  1268 ,Antakya  was captured by Egyptian Memluk Sultan Baybars. Until the end of the First World War ,Antakya ,which stayed under the domination  of Ottoman for 4 centuries , was governed as a township centre connected  to Haleb province for a while .

Sancak Zone , which was within the boundaries of National Pact after the War of Independence stayed out of Turkish land. Hatay Republic was founded after struggle of independence against  French occupants. Managed as a separate state  for 10 months and 21 days between the dates of September 2nd ,1938 and July 23rd ,1939 ,Hatay  incorporated in the Rebuclic  of Turkey as  63rd province in July 23 ,1939 with  the decision of Hatay National Assembly in June 29,1939 .

Habib-i Neccar  Mosque

It was constructed in the period  when Antakya was seized by  Islamic Arabs in 638 .It was accepted as the first mosque constructed in the boundaries  of today’s Turkey .Located  in Kurtuluş Street the mosque bears the name of a resident  who believed in the apostles of Jesus and died  for  the sake of them.There are mausoleum  of Habib-i Neccar and Şem’un Safa 4 meters under the mosque, and mausoleums  of Prophet Yahya and Prophet Yunus  at the entrance .The mosque collapsed during the great earthquake in 1854 and was reconstructed by Sultan Abdülmecit in the style of Ottoman architecture in 1858.

Cradle Cave Rock Tombs

Rock Tombs are reached through turning right from the seaward entrance of Titus Tunnel and proceeding along the gardens 100 meters after.Scattered to a wide area ,tombs are made by carving in the high and rocky hills.Of all the tombs in the caves , the most interesting one is the large cave in the bottom of the hole.Differs from the others as being high and ostentatious ,this cave is colloquially  called ‘’Cradle Cave ‘’

St.Pierre Church

The first temple of Christianity. The first Christian name was given  to the congregation of this church in past history .It’s a cave (rock) church in 13 meters length, 9,5 meters width and 7 meters height carved into the mountainside on Mount  Cross (Starius) which is the extension of Habib-i Neccar Mountain .After the death  of Jesus ,Apostle St Pierre ,accepted as the founder of Antakya Church and the first priest, came to city between the years 29-40 A.D and made his first religious meeting in the cave known as St. Pierre Church today.The name Christian (Hristos) was given to the church’s community who believed in Jesus in Antakya fort he first time ,too.Today ,St.Pierre church is accepted as one of the former chepels and pilgrimage place of Christianity.

Titus Tunnel

The Tunnel which was started to build during the reign of Vespasianus (B.C 69 ) in 1st Century A.D on the purpose of directing floodwaters,protecting antique city Selucia Pieria (Samandağ-Çevlik )from flood,preventing the harbor from filling up was completed  by his son Titus ( A. D.81) The tunnel ,130 meters of which is enclosed and other parts open ,is 1380 meters long average 7 meters high and 6 meters wide.

Hatay Museum

Hatay museum is the biggest museum with regards to its exhibition field ,and the second biggest museum in terms of the mosaic artifacts it owns. Opened in 2014 ,the newmuseum is in the town Maşuklu  which is close to the city centre.The museum is very rich in terms of its mosaic collection.Artifacts belonging to various  periods (Prehistoric Age ,Iron Age,Hellenistic, Rome,Byzantine),which are found in Harbiye,Antakya,Aççana,Samandağ ans İskenderun,are being exhibited within the body of the museum.

Arsuz

It’s a vacation and tourism place located in 33 km South of İskenderun,in the mouth of Arsuz Stream. It’s possible to run across the ruins of ancient city around the town.Today,Arsuz is a holiday place preferred mostly for the sea.

Harbiye/(Daphne)

Harbiye is 6 km away from Antakya. After forming waterfalls there,the sources coming from the valley join the River Asi. Known with its waterfalls in Hellenistic and Rome period and used as a worldwide famous resort,Daphne(Harbiye) was famous for a large number of mansions,temples and entertainment places made by rich people society.

Bakras Castle

Standing in the skirts of Mountain Kızıldağ,the castle makes you think that it belongs to the Medieval Age because of the features its round and high bastions have.It is though here in 304 B.C. The castle,which was controlling the ancient road going from Belen Crossing down to the Middle East,was used by Romans,Byzantines,Crusaders and Ayyubids.Some walls of the castle which fell under the domination of Ottoman during the Egypt expedition of Sultan Yavuz Selim in 1516 could remain standing today.

Sokullu Külliyesi

(Islamic Ottoman Social Complex)

Being located in Payas,the complex is one of the samples of Ottoman architecture consisting of caravansaries,bazaar,baths,mosque and madrasahs.Sokullu Mehmet Pasha got the whole complex constructed by Mimar Sinan(Architect) in 1574.

The Mosque and Madrasah:They were constructed with high dome next to southwest of the Bazaar. Located in the North side of the mosque and having doors in the yard,14 rooms with dome were mad efor people studying in the madrasah.

Koz Castle(Kürşat Castle)

Altınözü province is in 1km. North of the Koz castle village. It is supposed that the castle was built on the purpose of secure the South part of Antakya during the Antakya Princedom. The castle was established on an elevation with plain top and steep edges. Today,there are two bastions in the castle which was built with limestone blocks.The castle’s door was restored subsequently.Altough most of the places in the castle aren’t revealed,vaulted places,cistems and the protected road can be seen.

İskenderun

The construction of the city is based on prehistoric eras.It’s known that Kadu Chiefdom which was connected to Hittites was founded here in the mountainside of Amanos in 2000 B.C. İskenderun passed in other hands many times during the East Rome-İslam opposition. Having an outstanding time under the rule of Ottoman,İskenderun maintained its commercial and industrial power with an increasing volüme.By the end of the 19th century the first petrol in Ottoman territories was founded in Çengen village of İskenderun.İskenderun was occupied by French army on 12th of November,1918. In Hatay Republic period when the council decided to incorporate in homeland,İskenderun got involved in the borders of Turkey.Turkish army entered İskenderun on the 5th of july,1938.İskenderun is a town drawing attention with its historic,touristic,cultural,and natural beauties.Besides its natural and cultural richness,combination of highlands and sea,growing of any kinds of vegetables and fruits reveal itself on the residents’ life style,particularly on the richness of its cuisine.The coming of the spring is celebrated with International İskenderun Tourism and Culture Festival between the dates of 5-9 July,and with Egg Festival in Akçalı in March 30th and in Gözcüler in April 14th.In Arsuz,some activities such as concerts,theatres,folk dances and etc are performed in August in the frame of Arsuz International Traditional Culture and Art Festival.

Uzun Çarşı(The Long Bazaar)

The historic bazaar of Antakya is the one of the favorite places preferred by people who want to do shopping.Being located among the ancient Antakya houses,the main characteristic of the historic bazaar is that there are mosques,inns and baths within its body.There are also saddle sellers,smiths.coppersmiths,basket makers,bakers,künefe sellers and wheat market in the bazaar.Having served to residents of Antakya over the years,the bazaar which is supplying the needs of any kind and where indispensable spices and supplies of Antakya cuisine are being sol done of the haunted places of the city today.

Samandağ Çevlik

It’s an ancient city founded in the skirts of the Mountain Mosa in the town Çevlik which is 9 km away from the Samandağ city.Even though the city was founded by Selevcos Nikator 1,cave settlements which date back to Paleolithic Era were found in the region.The main reason fort he foundation of this city in Hellenistic Era was the desire of dominating the Mediterranean Sea.  The Seleucia Pieria city consists of two parts; downtown city(Harbor-Bazaar) and uptown city(Akropol).The uptown city consists of mansions,temples and halls;the downtown city includes the harbor and its surrounding.

İssos

It’s within the boundaries of Erzin.This region in which The Pesian King Darius III and The Macedonia King Alexander the Great made war in 333 B.C, was founded in Hellenistic period and existed in Rome period,too. There are the ruins of antique city and aqueducts in the region at the moment.Rescue excavations are being done by Hatay Archaelogy Museum in the ancient city.

Lake Yenişehir

İmma Antique City

In Rome period,around today’s Reyhanlı-The Lake Yenişehir,there was a settlement called by the name of İmma,whose remnants from Rome were found in Yenişehir Street.Having been exposed to substantial damage due to wars and fires in 12th century A.D, İmma fell into ruin during the earthquake in 1171.The remnants of that period can be seen in Yenişehir Street. Located in here,Lake Yenişehir is the most beautiful resting and recreation place of Amik zone with its outdoor cafes and restaurants.

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