The terrain in Turkey
The terrain in Turkey
Travelogue……with Bob Nicolaides
Turkey has more than cultural or historical attraction spots as religious wealth to offer all the major faiths of the world as Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and that’s due to the fact that most areas in Eastern Turkey, such as Asia Minor, Pontus, Anatolia and Cappadocia were provinces of the Greek-speaking Byzantine Empire which was conquered by the Ottomans in the 16th Century BC.
Moreover, a Synagogue with some 1700 years history near Sardes in ancient Lydia is a point of destination for Jews around the world, including Israel. Among the top attractions are Ephesus and Haghia Sophia Church.
Religious tourism or pilgrim tourism in Turkey is growing in popularity. These tours are perfect for people who want to trace back the history of their religion, visit Biblical places and hear the legends related to the apostles. Many luxurious or even cheap holidays in Turkey include the following hot spots of religious tourism.
Haghia Sophia Church, Istanbul
Located in Istanbul, it is a legacy made for both Christian and Muslim culture. It was originally a church converted into a mosque by Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror.
Here, you will see one of the most beautiful architectural designs. The magnificent dome will take your breath away as it is almost 56 meters high and 31 meters in diameter. It was included in UNESCO’s List of World Heritage.
Ephesus, near Izmir (The former Greek city of Smyrna)
Located near the shores of the Aegean Sea, it is one of the greatest cities of antiquity, built and rebuilt by Hellenes and subsequently by Romans seven times (though all the writings on the ancient buildings is in Greek) in Asia Minor.
It is a sacred site for Christians due to its strong association with biblical figures such as the Apostle Paul who evaded a crowd in his pursuit to stone him, descending to the base of the mountain where Holy Mary lived, and sailing away on a ship, a feat which cannot be duplicated today since the sea has receded thousands of feet eastward.
The area is also associated with John the Baptist as well . It is also a tourist attraction for travelers on Mediterranean cruises who come to ogle the two story library, the twelve thousand seat Odeon and the sixteen thousand seat stadium.
The area was originally home to the Temple of Artemis, which is counted as one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Church of St. Peter, Antakya
Antakya or Antioch is the place where Apostle Peter lived. This small church carved out of a mountain is regarded as the world’s first church where saints named the new religion Christianity. It is believed to have been carved by St. Peter himself.
The church also includes pieces of floor mosaics and frescoes.
http://www.tourexpi.com/images/newsimg/56356.jpg?rnd=1333481841 (Frescoes in the church of St. Peter)
Chora Church, Kariye Müzesi
Just like Haghia Sophia, Chora Church was also a church that was converted into a mosque. It is one of the most beautiful examples of a Byzantine style. It’s beautiful interior is covered with fine mosaics and frescoes. These paintings are of religious figures such as Mary, Joseph and Christ.
Pool of Sacred Fish, Şanlıurfa
Known as the place where King Nimrod attempted to murder Abraham by throwing him into a furnace. It was believed that with God’s will, fire turned into water and wood turned to carps. Here, you can enjoy the scenic beauty and appreciate the infrastructures surrounding it.