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[Religious Tourism]


HATAY      


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Habib-Un Necar Mosque (Center)


It is known as the first constructed mosque of the city. The Mosque, which was constructed instead of an ancient Roman temple during Baybars period, was reconstructed during Ottoman period in 17th century as it had been damaged by an earthquake in the 17th century; however, the minaret maintained its former shape. Under the structure reflecting the Ottoman architecture, there are three graves which people visit. It is considered to be holy as it is thought to be the location where the event relevant to Habib-un Neccar mentioned in the Holy Koran occurred.


St. Pierre Church (Center)


It is on the Antakya-Reyhanlı road and at the outskirts of the Habib-un Neccar Mountain. It is believed that St. Pierre, which was turned into a church while it was a natural cavern, is the first church of the world. Also, it was firstly called the persons who recognized the religion of Jesus Christ, as "Christian" in the history in this church. The Church is an important religious center as the place where St. Pierre, one of the 12 saints of Jesus Christ, tried to spread the Christianity after the death of Jesus Christ. In 1963, it was announced as a hadj place by Papa VI. Paul. Every year on the 29th of June a ceremony is performed here.


St. Simon Monastery (Samandag)


Baptistery, cistern and other architectural ruins can be seen in the Saint Simon Monastery which is known as the center of the Leaving World Sect. It was constructed in the name of St. Simon in the VIth century A.D. It is believed that St. Simon retired into seclusion on the stone column of 20 meters and lived there for 45 days. This case has been recorded to the Guinness Book of Records. It is also possible to see the pedestal of the column today.


Saint Hanna Church (Iskenderun)


During the first years of Christianity, a lot of monks and priests settled around Arsuz to spread Christianity. One of these monks is Saint Hanna who had a church built in Arsuz. This church is still being used. In the church rebuilt in 1514, there are two stamped pictures of high value, made on a lot of icons and fabrics.


Marcircos Orthodox Church (Iskenderun)


The church established in 1585 is still used by the local people both for worship and offering. The church witnesses Hidir İlyas festivities celebrated on the 5th and 6th of May every year.


Synagogue


The building is estimated to have been constructed as Synagogue around 1700. The Torah, the holy book in the Synagogue, is written in the Hebrew language on the skin of an antelope and has a history of 500 years.