Hatay, which is a cradle of civilizations, is situated at a geography where Western and Eastern cultures intersect and cultural interchanges of societies are experienced. Hatay which is an important trade and transit center due to its geographical location is a cultural place where many people from various religions and beliefs lived together both in the past and the present. In today’s Hatay mosque, church and synagogue exist together and serve their people in peace and freedom. The Antakya region is a preferred settlement center due to its climate conditions and fertile lands as well as its being a connection point to Anatolia-Syria and Palestine and its harbors opening to the Mediterranean Sea. Today’s Hatay is a city with high potential of tourism with its center for faith tours, ancient cities and mountain pastures. Besides faith tourism, Hatay is also one of the important cities for congress tourism.
Highway: It can be accessed to Hatay from Istanbul and Ankara by means of E–5 Highway.
Airline: The Adana Airport is used to travel to Hatay.
Railroad: A railroad line to Iskenderun is available.
Maritime line: Maritime transportation is available via Iskenderun Harbor.
Brief Historical Account
The first settlement in Atakya which has a history of around 2300 years, was rooted in 8000 AD. The city was first established by Selekos, one of the commanders of Alexander, the Great, who divided and shared the Empire. Later, the city was ruled by the Parts, Sasanis, Byzantines, Abbasid Tolunogullari, Aksits, Hamdanogullari, Seljuks, Crusades and Memluks. The city was included within the Ottoman lands during the Egypt Campaign of Yavuz Sultan Selim. An Independent Hatay State was established in 1937 and Hatay was to become a part of the Republic of Turkey in 1939.
Places to Go and Visit
Old Antakya houses, Antakya Castle and mosques located at the upper side of Asi River are the first structures that receive one’s interest. Religious Architectures can be visited in Hatay which is a significant center for faith tourism. Saint Pierre Church which is the first Catholic Church is one of these religious buildings. Saint Simon Stylite Monastery, Yayladagi Barleam Monastery and Keldagi Barleam Monastery are of important monasteries. Habib Neccar Mosque, Sheikh Ahmet Kuseyri Mosque and Tomb, Sokullu Mehmet Pasha Religious Complex of Buildings, Payas Sokullu Religious Complex of Buildings and Grand Mosque are important works of architecture that must be seen.
There are many caravansaries and baths in Antakya. Caravansaries and baths that are still in service bring the past cultures and architectures to the present. The Archeology Museum is one of the most important mosaic museums. Ruins of palace, temple and official buildings of Seleukia Pieria ancient city and El-Mina gates and ramparts in Çevlik Ruins, Titus Tunnel, Bakras Castle, Koz Castle, Latin Church, St. Nicola Orthodox Church, Karasun Manuk Armenian Church, Jewish Synagogue, Havrası, Arsuz Coastal Line, famous mountain pastures of Hatay and the legendary Harbiye (Defne is the famous city of Daphne in the Ancient Age) Excursion Spot are places that must be visited and seen.
Hatay Archeology Museum
July- Antakya International Tourism Culture and Art Festival
June- St. Pierre’s Day
Canoe (Harbiye), swimming and all water sports, sailing, camping and trekking.
Icli Kofte (Stuffed Meatballs), Asure, Humus, Cevizli Biber (pepper with walnut), Katıklı Ekmek, Kunefe (Sweet Shredded Pastry With Cheese), Tas Kadayif, Pumpkin Dessert, Kerevic.
Laurel soap and silk fabrics.
Go and visit Archeology Museum, St. Pierre Church, Habib-i Neccar Mosque, Antakya Castle, Cevlik Ruins, Titus Tunnel, St. Simen Monastery, Old Antakya Houses, Harbiye Excursion Spot, Sokullu Mehmet Pasha Religious Complex of Buildings, Arsuz Coastal Line, Bakras Castle and Koz Castle.
TasteStuffed Meatballs, Asure, Eksi Asi, Humus, Cevizli Biber (pepper with walnut), Kaytaz Borek, Katıklı Ekmek; as a dessert: Kunefe, Tas Kadayıf, pumpkin dessert, Kerevic
Buy some laurel soaps, silk fabrics, Paper paste, pomegranate Sour juice.