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Antioch is located on the southeastern part of Turkey. Modern name of Antioch is Antakya today. Antioch was founded by one of the generals of Alexander the Great called Seleucus the first Nicator.

Syrian Antioch Alexandria and Seleucia in the 4th century
Syrian Antioch Alexandria and Seleucia in the 4th century

Being located on the crossroads of Silk Route and Persian King’s Road made the city an attraction center and its habitants became rich thanks to spice trade. Seleucid Empire used Antioch as their capital and after the arrival of Roman Empire, Antioch became the capital of the newly founded Roman Syria Province.

Population of Antioch went up to 250.000 people of many cultures and religions. Antioch could be considered as the most important center of Hellenistic Judaism during the second temple era.

Capture of Antioch

Thanks to its perfect multicultural background Antioch became the center of early Christianity. Peter himself visited Antioch and the earliest church building was built in his name in Antioch. Also, Apostle Paul was from Tarsus nearby Antioch which made this city one of the earliest possible places where Paul preached.

Antioch slowly started to decline with the arrival of Arab raids and eventually lost importance thanks to changes in the trade routes. Today Antioch has a population of 220.000 which is still less than its former glory.

Hasan Gülday

Hasan Gülday. Professional licensed tour guide working in Turkey.

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