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Antakya (Antioch), Turkey

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Antakya, TurkeyAntakya, Turkey
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Antakya, also known as Antioch since ancient times, is a city in Hatay Province in southern Turkey. It is located along the Orontes River, about 22 km (14 mi) from the Mediterranean coast. The city is also near the border with Syria, and is about three hours away from Aleppo, the biggest city in Syria.

Antakya is in the Eastern Europe Time zone, which is two hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+2) and three hours ahead during Daylight Saving Time in summer. The phone area code is (0)326.

Alleyway in Antakya, TurkeyAlleyway in Antakya, Turkey
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Antakya is in a valley surrounded by high mountains, among them Mount Keldağ to the south and Mount Habib Neccar to the east. A number of rivers flow through the city, creating a well-drain, fertile plain that has sustained life for centuries. Antakya experiences a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. Warmest month in Antakya is August, when the average high temperature reaches 30.6°C (87°F). Coldest month is January, when the average lows dip to 10.6°C (51°F).

The area around Antakya has seen human habitation going back to the 6th millennium BC. The city, originally known as Antioch, was founded in 300 BC, by King Seleucus I Nicator. Antioch grew into one of the biggest cities in the Roman Empire and later the Byzantine Empire. It featured in the Holy Bible as the place where followers of Jesus Christ were called Christians for the first time.

Antioch was conquered by the Crusaders during the First Crusade (1096-1099), which resulted in the establishment of the Principality of Antioch, a crusader state that existed from 1098 to 1268, when it fell to the Egyptian Mamluk Sultan Baibars. As with other cities in the area, it was controlled by Muslims, with periods when it was repeatedly attacked by the Mongols.

St Peter's Cave in Antoich (Antakya)St Peter's Cave in Antoich (Antakya)
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authorshipUlrich Waack
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Antakya was controlled by the Ottoman Empire from the 16th century until the empire collapse following World War I. It was part of the Republic of Hatay. By then it was eclipsed by its former port city Alexandretta, now known as Iskenderun, which became one of the largest Turkish ports on the Mediterranean. Antakya however remains the seat of Hatay Province.

Visiting Antakya

You can fly from Istanbul to Antakya, landing at Hatay Airport (HTY), which is 25 km from the city. From the airport you can take the bus to downtown Antakya. It takes about half an hour to reach the city.

Villa in Antakya, TurkeyVilla in Antakya, Turkey
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Places of Interest in Antioch, Turkey

  1. Antakya Archaeological Museum
  2. Antakya Bazaar
  3. Harbiye
  4. Rana Bridge
  5. St Peter's Grotto
  6. Titus Tunnel

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