Antakya stands on the site of the ancient city of Antioch, near the coast of the piece of Turkey, known as The Hatay, that turns the corner of the Mediterranean facing the sea eastwards and extending westwards into Syria. Antakya is a cosmopolitan city with an Arab flavour with several attractions but not a lot of evidence of its historic past. Divided by the Asi River, old Antakya lies on the eastern bank and is a maze of narrow streets. Mosques worth seeing are the Ulu Cami, Habibi Nacca Camii and the Habibi Neccar Cave shrine. There are also several churches. The Archaelogical Museum has a collection of locally found Roman msaics that are among the best in the world. On the outskirts of the city is Sen Piyer Kilisesi, the famous cave church of St Peter from which the apostle preached to the people of the city.
Antakya was founded as Antioch in the 4th century BC by Sleucus Nicator, one of Alexander's generals. By the 2nd century BC it was one of the largest cities of the ancient world and a centre of trade,learning and some vices. Prospering long after Roman times, sackings by the Crusaders and Egyptians eventually reduced the city back to almost a village, until its regrowth after WW1.
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