Church-Cave of St Thecla, Silifke

About 5 km (3 miles) from the otogar (bus station) in Silifkeoff the road to Taşucu on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, is the Cave of St Thecla (Ayatekla).

A young virgin from Iconium (Konya), Thecla overheard St Paul preaching in her neighbor’s house and convertedto Christianity.

Persecuted for her beliefs, she triumphed and was revered by the Byzantines, who built a splendid churchabove the cave where she allegedly sought shelter from her persecutors.

The church, called Ayatekla, is now in ruins, but the cave beneath is a place of pilgrimage for Christians.

Cave beneath Ayatekla (Church of St Thecla), Silifke, Turkey

The cave beneath the church: a gloomy place…

Follow the signs from Silifke for the port town of Taşucu, and look for signs pointing the way to Ayatekla.

Here’s a view of Silifke, with Ayatekla and the Mediterranean in the distance:

Cave beneath Ayatekla (Church of St Thecla), Silifke, Turkey

—by Tom Brosnahan


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