PAUL IN TURKEY (ASIA MINOR)
THE FIRST JOURNEY
THE SECOND JOURNEY
THE THIRD JOURNEY
THE FOURTH JOURNEY
PAUL IN TARSUS
Tarsus is the birthplace of Paul. Tarsus is included at the
UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List. Places to see are:
CHURCH OF PAUL; Serving as a monument museum today, the
Church of Paul is located in the Ulu Mosque quarter. The
Church dedicated to Paul was originally built in the 11th
and 12th centuries and went under a major renovation in
1862. There are frescoes depicting Christ and the Four
Evangelists with Angels on the roof. The Church hosted the
"St Paul Symposium and Ceremony" organized by Vatican in
PAUL'S WELL; An ancient well thought to be from the
courtyard of Paul's house is located in the Kizilmurat quarter close to
the Cumhuriyet Meydani (Republic Square). The water level
never drops and the water is believed to be sacred with
ANCIENT ROAD; The road used by Paul on his journeys and when
he lived in Tarsus is an ancient road of basalt stone that
has survived to this day. It is located in the Cumhuriyet
Meydani, 300 meters south of the well's courtyard. By
stepping onto this ancient road, it is possible to travel in
time to the years Paul lived.
PAUL IN ANTIOCH:
The name Antioch is derived from Antiochus, the father of
Seleucus I, who was a contemporary of Alexander the Great.
Because of its strategic location at the crossroads of
Anatolia and the Middle East, Antioch has been host to many
civilizations. After Rome, Alexandria and Ephesus, Antioch
was the fourth largest city in the Roman Empire. It became
the starting point for Paulís journeys.
After having converted to Christianity, Paul and Barnabas
have been visited by the Holy Spirit who instructed them
that their mission was to spread the name of Jesus Christ.
This was the beginning of Paulís many years of travelling.
On his first journey, Paul and Barnabas travelled from
Antioch in 46 AD by boarding a ship from Seleucia Peria (Samandag)
to Cyprus. The starting point for his second and third
journeys was also Antioch.
Cave Church of
Located in the northeast of Antioch, it is the oldest church
in the world. It is where Peter and Barnabas prayed
alongside Paul. Peter was regarded the head of the church.
The first Christian Meeting was held in this cave. For the
first time in the history, the name Christian was used here
for the congregation of this church. Today, there are the
remains of mosaics dating back to 5th century AD.
There is a tunnel to the left of the altar, and it is
assumed that this was to facilitate the escape of the church
members in times of persecution. The church was extended by
several meters in the 11th century by crusaders.
In 1863 Pope Pius IX renovated the church with the help of
Napoleon III. In 1963 Pope Paul IV confirmed it as a place
of pilgrimage for Christians. Every year on the 29th
of June there is a religious ceremony in the church attended
by people coming from various places.
The monastery of Simon is constructed on the highest peak of
Samandag in remembrance of Simon who patiently spent long
years living on top of a 13 meters tall column. The name
Samandag is derived from the Arabic word of Simon, Sam, thus
the name means literally Simonís Mountain.
PAUL IN MERSIN
Mersin, located on Turkey's southern coast, was visited by
Paul during his second journey. By travelling along the
roads that took him through Tarsus, Silifke and Mut, you can
see the places where he was born and where he lived as well
as the churches dating from the early Christian period
dedicated to Paul and others.
PAUL IN PERGA
Paul visited Perga (Perge) twice during his first journey. He
came by sea to Perga at the start of his first voyage. On
his way back, he visited Perga again and preached the word
of God to the locals. Most of the churches that have
survived today are in basilica style and date from the 5th
and 6th centuries. The symmetrical towers that
are the symbol of Perga are situated on either side of the
cityís most important entrance gate. It is probable that
Paul entered the city by this gate and that he went down the
column-lined street beyond it.
PAUL IN PSIDIAN
Paul visited Psidian Antioch twice during his first journey.
Paulís speech affected many people to such degree that they
wanted him to address them again. For the next sermon almost
the whole population of Psidian Antioch assembled to hear
him speak. As a result, many people converted to
Christianity. However some opponents of Christianity in the
city were angry at the newcomers and started to persecute
Paul and Barnabas, and the two of them were ejected from the
city limits. Despite this seatback Paul had achieved his
purpose and on leaving here for Iconium (Konya), he left
behind many new believers.
In Psidian Antioch, you can see the ruins of Church of Paul
built in 325 AD on the site of the synagogue in which Paul
first preached. This is believed to be the first church
dedicated to Paul. The floor is covered by remarkable
mosaics. Amongst the mosaics can be found the name of the
Bishop Optimius who attended the Ecumenical Council held in
Istanbul in 381 AD. When Paul visited Psidian Antioch in the
1st Century, it had a population of approximately
70,000 and was one of the biggest cities in the Roman
Empire. Today, you can also see the Temple of Augustus, the
Theatre, a Monumental Fountain, the Roman Baths and the
PAUL IN ICONIUM
After having left Yalvac and before crossing the Sultan
Mountains, Paul and Barnabas arrived in Konya by following
the Eastern Trade Route and the King's Road through
Ilgin-Ladik. Konya was a place in which they made many
moving speeches and where they succeeded in converting many
people to Christianity. The most important of these people
was St. Thecla who was much affected by Paul's sermons and
went on to become one of Christianity's foremost
missionaries. She was the first female martyr.
While one group supported Paul, there was another group set
against him. When Paul heard that the other group were
thinking to assault them, Paul and Barnabas escaped from
Konya to go to Lystra and Derbe.
PAUL IN LYSTRA (HATUNSARAY) &
Coming to Lystra, Paul performed a miracle by endowing a man
who had been crippled from birth and who had never walked,
with the ability of walk. The people of Lystra were greatly
impressed by the miracle and attributed to Paul and Barnabas
the names of pagan gods because they assumed that they were
these gods. They wanted to organize ceremonies at the city
gates and sacrifice animals in their honor. Hearing this
Paul and Barnabas tore their clothes and went among the
people saying "we are people just like you and we have
brought you the Good News. Leave empty gestures like this
and turn to the one God that created everything" and thus
prevented the sacrifice. However, elements against
Christianity from outside the city took the people of Lystra
to their side and had Paul stoned. Despite the heavy
injuries he incurred he did not stop to recuperate but went
together with Barnabas to Derbe where he succeeded in
converting many people to Christianity with his words. Derbe
was the final stop of the First Journey. Paul also visited
Lystra and Derbe on his Second Journey. In Lystra he found
one of his greatest supporters Timothy whom he kept close to
him and together with whom he continued his journeys.
PAUL IN EPHESUS
Paul first visit to Ephesus was during his Second Journey.
Here, Paul went into Synagogues and spoke on various
subjects. When asked by the Ephesians to stay longer he
answered "if it is God's will, I will come back to you". On
his Third Journey, Paul stayed in Ephesus three years 53-56
AD. He wrote his epistles that appear in the Bible here
explaining God's decrees to the Ephesians, Galatians and
other communities. He talked at Synagogues. He performed
many miracles. These miracles had the effect of greatly
enhancing the respect in which Jesus and Paul were held.
Supporters of pagan Goddess Artemis were not happy and they
did not let Paul speak at the Grand Theater in Ephesus. Paul
went to Macedonia to attract new disciples. When he arrived
back from Macedonia, at Miletus he invited the City Elders
of Ephesus and told them with a heavy heart and with tears
how he served God and continued to spread the word inspire
of all trials and tribulations. However, he told them that
he had to go to Jerusalem.
Ephesus is an important city in terms of Christianity. Home
to one of the Seven Churches of the Revelation, Ephesus is
the place where the third Ecumenical Council took place in
431 AD. Gospel author John the Evangelist who was given the
tasks of conveying messages to the first seven churches
lived here in Ephesus.
of Paul & Thecla:
Carved out of rock, the cave is on the northern slopes of
Bulbul Mountain. It consists of a corridor with the
dimensions of 15 x 2 meters and a room connected with this
corridor. Closed to the entrance are depictions of Paul and
Thecla. In interior parts is an inscription which reads
"God, help your servant Timothy| and other inscriptions
Church of John:
John the Evangelist came to Ephesus with Virgin Mary. The
Emperor Domitian wanted him executed but he escaped each
attempt to kill him by performing a miracle. After spending
a time in exile he came to Ephesus and it is believed he
died here. For this reason the first monumental tomb
dedicated to him was built here in the 2nd and 3rd century
AD. In the 4th century AD, a church was constructed on top
of his tomb by the Emperor Justinian and his wife Theodora
who built Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.
PAUL IN TROAS
Paul first visited Troas (Canakkale) in order to get to
Macedonia on his Second Journey. On his Third Journey he
spent more time here. Going to Troas by sea he found people
expecting him and he spent seven days here preaching. One of
the miracles he performed in Troas was to resurrect from the
dead of a child that had fallen from a window whilst
listening to him. After leaving Troas he chose to walk
rather than go by sea and he took the direct route to Assos
(Behramkale). After having met in Assos, Paul and his
companions travelled to Miletus by sea.
PAUL IN DEMRE
Demre was the first port that the ship Paul was boarded on
the way to Rome.
Claus was born in Patara but, served as the Bishop of Demre.
St. Nicholas did what he could to help all people, not only
children as is believed nowadays. Christmas tradition of
giving presents dates back to his leaving gifts outside the
doors of the poor families in 270 AD.