"The Birthplace of Christianity?" Hatay by CrtnShdofGrn
Hatay Travel Guide: 30 reviews and 91 photos
I have only spent a few hours in this very Arab Turkish city (due to it's close proximity to the Syrian border). Unfortunately, I didn't have the opportunity to sample the unique (for Turkey) cuisine that is one trademark of this city. I did however visit what is said to be the very first Christian church. It is carved into a cliff, with escape tunnels carved deep into the mountain (for escape from persecution associated with practicing Christianity in the days the church was built). If you ever visit there, you will likely be mobbed by little boys asking for money. If you can find one who knows what there is to see there (there was a young boy named Mustafa who showed us around...I later tipped him a few dollars) they can take you through some of the caves and show you some of the statues carved into the side of the cliffs. If you plan to go into the caves (you can't be clausterphobic) bring a small flashlight. At times, I was following Mustafa only by sound, as I felt my way along the walls until we approached some "windows" that provided light. I am not particularly religious, but this was a very interesting experience, and definitely one to share with anyone who is interested in theology.
- Pros:Interesting history, and (from what I hear) interesting cuisine
- Cons:There didn't seem to be too much else to do in the area, and with the heavy Muslim influence, I imagine nightlife is very limited.
- In a nutshell:Worth a day trip, but I couldn't say if it is worth much else...maybe?
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