Things to Know

Hatay, also known as Antakya, was the capital of the Seleucid kings and is located on the Asi River. It is a fertile area that was once famous for its lavishness and pleasure during Roman times. Antakya is considered the center of origin for Christianity, as it was visited by St. Barnabas, Paul, and Peter before they spread Christianity to other areas.

During Byzantine rule between 1075 CE-1243 CE, Antakya was a provincial capital, an artisan settlement, a center for textile production, and an intellectual center that attracted scholars from across western Asia Minor.

The Hatay Museum is internationally known for its rich collection of Roman mosaics. Saint Peter's Grotto is a holy site located just outside the city. This cave church is where St. Peter preached and founded Christianity. It was declared a holy place by the Vatican in 1983. The Iron Gate of Antioch is also located south of the grotto among the ruins of the city, where one can experience the same atmosphere as in ancient times. The Castle of Antioch provides a panoramic view of the entire city, and climbing to the top is worth it for the incredible view of the ancient civilization below.

The beautiful love story of Apollo and Daphne can be found in Harbiye. Apollo fell deeply in love with Daphne, who was persecuted by her father, Lord Zeus. Zeus helped his daughter escape by transforming her into a tree, where an inscription on one of its trunks reads "I am Daphne".

Samandag offers both beach and sightseeing opportunities. Seleucia Pieria, an ancient city that was once a busy port during Paul's time of missionary travel, provides an opportunity to study history and marvel at the ancient engineering of Titus-Vespasianus Tunnel, which was built to divert rainwater.

Places to Visit in Hatay

Geographically Indicated Products in Hatay