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Christian Sites in Turkey

Last Updated on April 25, 2019

In the Steps of St Paul

St Paul was born in Tarsus, on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. Although his birthplace has not been determined, you can visit the town, an ancient well, a historic church, and Roman walls and gates.

Seven Churches of Revelation

The Seven Churches of Revelation were Ephesus, Laodicea, Pergamum, Philadelphia (Alaşehir), Sardis, Smyrna, Thyatira (Akhisar). In several of these sites there is little or nothing to see—just modern Turkish towns—but in others there is much to see…and feel.

Ephesus is the most impressive, where you can visit the very theater where St Paul addressed the Ephesians, and stroll the streets on which he walked.

Laodicea, near Pamukkale, also has lots to see, especially as it is excavated and restored by archeologists and opened to the public.

The few remaining ruins of Roman Smyrna are all bus swallowed by booming, modern Izmir, but a visit to Izmir can be worthwhile as well.

Ecumenical Patriarchate

The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople is the spiritual center of Orthodox Christianity, and a destination for visits by many Orthodox Christians from around the world. More…

Churches of Constantinople

During the Byzantine Empire, Constantinople was a city of churches, prime among which was the splendid cathedral of Hagia Sophia. The great church, now a museum, is still one of the city’s prime attractions, but there are many other Byzantine churches to visit, including the very Byzantine Church of St George at the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

Church of St George

A number of extant Byzantine churches have been converted to mosques, which allows them to be visited easily.

Modern (19th- and 20th-century) churches are in Beyoğlu, including the Roman Catholic Church of St Antoine (San Antonio di Padua) on İstiklal Caddesi; the Church of St Mary Draperis nearby; the Protestant Dutch Chapel next to the the Netherlands Consulate; the large Greek Orthodox Ayia Triyada looming above Taksim Square; and the Armenian Church of Three Altars in Galatasaray‘s Balık Pazarı.

Cappadocia

In medieval times, Cappadocia, in central Turkey, was an active monastic area, with many monasteries carved into the soft volcanic tuff. Today the painted churches of Cappadocia are among the most popular attractions in the country. More…

Nicaea

The Roman and Byzantine city of Nicaea, now İznik, is southeast of Istanbul across the Sea of Marmara, and easy to visit. Here, in the Church of Hagia Sophia, two ecumenical councils were held: the First Council, in 325, and the Seventh, in 787. More…

Antioch

Citizens of modern-day Antakya (ancient Antioch), claim that their city is the home of the first Christian church, a cave in which St Paul preached to the Christians of Antioch. More…


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