Christianity which is one of the latest great religions on earth had emerged in Palestine. Not much is known about the life of Christ, who is the establisher of this religion, before he started to preach that “the sovereignty of God was to start soon,” when he was thirty years old. Most of the Jews, oppressed under the invasion of the Romans, were awaiting this message.
Masses had followed Christ who considered him as the Messiah or the Saviour, but the number of his followers decreased after the Jewish rulers became suspicious of him. Christ was captured and delivered to the Roman procurator after he preached for three years and he was crucified.
The contribution of anatolia to the Formation of the Belief in Christianity and its spread
Saint Paul (10-67 A.D. ?)
A Jewish community was living in Tarsus during the period of Christ. Paul who was one of the most prominent people of this community, was one of the leaders who provided Christianity to turn into one of the world religions from being a sect of the Jewish religion.
Paul, who had a good education since he was the only son of a prosperous family, was sent to Jerusalem to be trained as a rabbi with Gamaliel who was the grandson of Rabbi Hillel.
Paul was influenced by the ideas of the grandson of the aged Rabbi just like Christ who was influenced by ideas of the aged Rabbi Hillel himself in Nazareth.
Paul who returned to Tarsus upon completing his training began to preach the Sacred Law.
He received the news about the crucifixion of Christ in Tarsus. Like many other rabbis, he was beleiving that their sect was going to be eradicated with the death of Christ. But he was mistaken. There was turmoil in Jerusalem, but the teachings of Christ were spreading fast. Paul was considering the followers of Christ as a great threat for the Jewish religion. Thus, he was active in the massacre of the members of the Church.
According to common belief, he repented when he encountered with the vision of Christ while going to Damascus to chase the followers of Christ and he dedicated himself to work for spreading the belief of Christianity.
After this, Paul lived in Arabia for a short time. He settled down in Damascus and increased his knowledge abouth the teachings of Christ. Three years later he came to Jerusalem and met with St. Peter and St. Jacob who was reffered to as the “brother of Christ”. Thus, he became one of the apostles.
Paul, who went to Antiochia to help Barnabas, had selected this city as the center for the activities to be carried out to spread Christianity.
The Journeys of Saint Paul made with the aim of establishing new churches
First Journey (44-49 A.D.)
During his first journey which he started from Antiochia together with Barnabas, Paul stopped at Cyprus (Salamis and Paphos –Baf), Pergamon, Pisidion, Ikonion (Konya, Lystra(Hatunsaray), Derbe and Attaleia(Antalya).
Upon his return to Antiochia, he immediately left off for Damascus, again with Barnabas and Titus when he heard that the Christians who were not of Jewish origin were forced to be circumcised.
Second Journey (50-53 A.D.)
He headed for Galatia with the Roman citizen Silas for his second journey which he started from Antiochia. He established churches in Thessalonike (Selanik), Philippi(Fillipoli) and Beroia (Veroia). He was arrested with Silas in Philippi for a short period of time. He had to escape to Athens due to the enmity displayed in the attitudes of the Jews in Thessalonike and Beroia. After establishing a church, he left Athens and went to Corinthos. He was admitted to the audience of the Precouncil Gallia there. He returned to Antiochia after visiting Ephesus, Caesarea and Jerusalem.
Third Journey (54-58 A.D.)
Paul exerted efforts to strengthen the churches he had established during his third travel. He stayed in Ephesus for three years. He wrote his most important epistles in this period. Although he went to Corinthos with the hope to solve the serious problems that had emerged, he could not be successful. After his return to Ephesus, he went to Macedonia for a second time and then he passed to Corinthos again. This time he succeeded to meet his objective. During the three months while he stayed there, he wrote his famous work called as the “Epistle to the Romans” which covered the most important contribuitons to the Christian Theology. Paul, who started his way to take the donations collected in Anatolia and Greece to Jerusalem, stopped at both Rhodes and Patara. When he arrived in Jerusalem, he was arrested based on the accusation of letting one of his followers, who was not of Jewish origin, to enter into the forbidden part of the famous Temple of Jerusalem of the Jews. His arrest was actually aiming to protect Paul,who was a Roman citizen, from the attacks of the Jews. Upon the disclosure of an assassination attempt, he was taken to Caearea where a Roman garrison was located. He was under arrest here for two years.
Fourth Journey (60-61 A.D.)
Paul applied to Nero after he refused to comply with the decision of Festus, who was the governor of Caesarea, about his being sent to Jerusalem to be put on trial. He stayed in Malta for three months when the vessel on which Paul was travelling had an accident during his journey to Rome which started during the months of Fall. At last, he could arrive in Rome during the spring of 60 A.D. He was kept in a house under arrest for two years while he waited for his trial. He wrote some of his epistles in the New Testament during this period. Although this is not firm, he was sentenced to death during the period of emperor Nero.
It is believed for the family of Peter to have come from Bezetha who was the leader of the twelve apostles of Christ and who is accepted as the first pope according to the Catholic church.
During the following fifteen years after Christ, Peter was the leader of the Christian community. He lead the movement to convert the inhabitants of Caesea who were not Jewish into Christianity by travelling to North along the coasts of the Mediterranean Sea. Meanwhile, he was put in jail in Jerusalem and the leadership of Peter in church had passed on to the apostle Saint Jacob who was referred to as the “brother of Christ” after Peter escaped from jail with “the help of an angel” according to the rumours.
Peter was charged with spreading Christianity among the Jewish people during the meeting of the apostles held in Jerusalem in the year of 49 or 50 A.D..
As it is understood from the epistles of Paul, he travelled in Anatolia as a missionary.
According to the common belief, Peter came to Rome and was killed due to his beliefs during the period of the Emperor Nero.
Barnabas, who was born in Cyprus as the child of a Jewish family, joined in the community of the believers in Jerusalem just after the crucifixion of Christ.
He sold his property an donated his income to the community. Barnabas who was one of the founders of the Antiochian Church, started to work with Paul after he summoned him from Tarsus for help.
The date and means of the death of Barnabas are not known. According to beliefs, he died while he was working for the spread of Christianity and was buried in Cyprus. The tomb, thought to be that of Barnabas, was found near the Saint Barnabas Monastery in the city of Salamis in Cyprus in 488. Paul and Barnabas are the founders of the Christian community in the city.
It is believed for Titus, who was the assistant of apostle Paul, to have been the first bishop of Crete.
It is thought for Titus to have had some relations with the Corinthian Church who was converted into Christianity later. Titus, who especially undertook the collection of alms for the needy Christians from Judaea, took the place of Timotheus who was the representative of Paul Corinthos. His tomb is said to be in the Cathedral of Saint Marc in Venice.
It is known that Timotheus, who was one of the assistants of Saint Paul, was the first archbishop of Lystra(Hatunsaray) and Ephesos.
Paul had met with Timotheus on his second travel and took him to his company. He helped for the formation of church communities in Corinthos, Thessalonike and Philippi with Paul and Silas. He accompanied Paul in his travels.
According to Saint John from Damascus, John had witnessed the decease of Virgin Mary. It is asserted that he was killed because of his beliefs while he was the first archbishop of Ephesus during the period of Emperor Nerva.
Silas who was a Roman citizen had travelled in Anatolia, Syria and Cilicia with Paul. They were beaten and put in jail because they cured a slave girl in Philippi which was the first place where they declared the Christian teaching in Europe with Paul. When they were released, they preached in Thessalonike. They went to Beroia when they were expelled from here. Silas and Timotheus stayed here. It is one of the probabilities for Silas to have joined apostle Saint Peter. It is believed for him to have been the first archbishop of Corinthos.
Virgin Mary and Saint John(Jean) in Anatolia
There is no dependable information about the life of Virgin Mary after the crucifixiation of Christ. Christ had entrusted his mother to Saint John who was one of the apostles. Thus Virgin Mary might have stayed with John until one of them died. It is known that John was in Jerusalem in 49, came to Ephesos in 67 and lived here there after until his death.
On the other hand, in addition to these assumptions made under the light of the knowledge we have for the time being, there is a widespread belief in the Christian world, at least from the beginning of the 16th century, that Virgin Mary had come to Ephesos and has died there.
Three ecumenical councils met in Ephesos to solve the problems related with the teachings and the church in the years of 490, 431 and 449.
Saint Ioannes(St. Jean/St. John) tells about thte churches first built in Anatolia in the annex of the Bible called as the Apocalypse, that is, Revelations. These cities are Ephesos(Selçuk), Smyrna(İzmir), Pergamum(Bergama), Thyatira(Akhisar), Sardis(Sard), Philadelphia(Alaşehir), and Laodikea between Denizli and Hieropolis(Pamukkale). The churches built in these cities are mentioned as the seven churches. Two of these churches are in Antiokhia(Antakya).
Saint Nicholas (Santa Claus)
He is one of the most important saints of the Orthodox church. According to widespread belief, Saint Nicholas was born in Patara which was the harbour city of Lykia.
He became the archbishop of Myra soon after he returned to Anatolia following his travels in Palestine and Egypt in his youth.
He was put in jail because of the oppression applied on the Christians by the Roman emperor Diocletianus. He was released during the period of Constantinus.
He joined the First Ecumenical Nicaia (İznik) Council in 325.
According to the oldest and most famous tale, Nicholas appeared in the dream of Constantinus and saved the lives of three military officers who were condemned to death.
Nicholas, whose fame was spreading fast, was adopted as the protector saint of the countries such as Russia and Greece, the charity institutions, the lodges, children, mariners, and the cities such as Fribourg(Switzerland) and Moscow.
The conversion of Nicholas to the Santa Claus took place in Germany first. This tradition spread in the countries where the reformist churches were in majority and lastly in France. The attribution of the personality of a benevolent magician to Nicholas by the Dutch Protestants who settled in New York led him to be very famous with the name of Santa Claus.
The Italian mariners opened his tomb in 1807 and took his bones to Bari. His commemoration date is the 6th of December.
[Naissus(Niş) 280- Nikomedia(İzmit) 337]
Beside being the first Roman emperor adopting Christianity, Constantinus was the leader in converting the empire into a Christian state. He laid the foundations of an original christian culture which led to the development of the civilizations of Byzantium and Western Europe in the Dark Ages.
After changing the name of the city of Byzantium(İstanbul) into Constantinopolis, he had started a wide scaled construction activity to maket he city “a second Rome”. He built a number churches for the apostles and primarily, the Saint Sophia. He issued a number of codes related with the Christian masses and ceremonies. Such penalties as crucifixion and branding were put to an end. The privileges of the Christian clergy were increased. He died in Nikomedia on May 22, 337. Constantinus, who was buried in the apostlic church which he made built himself is considered as a Saint by the Orthodox church.
The first great controversy in Christianity was created by the Arianism during the period of Constantinus. According to the teachings of Aerios, Christ was not existing from eternity and he was also created in spite of his attribute as the child of the Holy Ghost. The interpretation controverting this was considering the father and the son as one in the sense of the essence and attributes, that is, it was considering Christ, the son of Virgin Mary, as the actual Holy Ghost.
The Ecumenical Council which met in Nicaea in 325 had reinforced the belief of the church by declaring Arianism as a wrong opinion.
The Seven Sleepers
According to the legend, which was much favoured both in the Christian and Moslem worlds during the Dark Ages, seven Christian soldiers had hidden in a cave in Ephesos which was in their native land due to the oppression on the Christians in the period of the Emperor Decius. Later, the entrance of the cave was blocked. Thus, the seven Christians fell into a miraculous sleep who were saved from participating in the pagan sacrifice ceremonies based on the declarations announced by the Emperor. They woke up when the entrance of the cave was opened two hundred years later during the period of the East Roman Emperor Theodosius II.
According to the version of the legend as it is told in the West, the seven sleepers are Maximianos, Malchos, Marcianos, Ioannes, Denis, Serapon and Constantinus. In the Eastern version they are Makselina, Yemliha, Mernuş, Saznuş, Debernuş, Meslina and Kefeytatayyuş and further it is told that they had a dog called Kıtmir. There are caves which are visited in Afşin and Tarsus which are called as “Eshab-ı Kehf” and there is a cave in Ephesos which is called as the Seven Sleepers and which also has visitors. The “Seven Sleepers” is told as a legend.
He was born in Nisibis(Nusaybin) in 306. he is known as the Syrian Ephraem. He converted into Christianity with the influence of Jacob who was the archbishop of Nisibis. When Nisibis was captured by the Persians, he ran away to Edessa(Urfa) which was a very important cultural center. He began to live a hermit’s life. He wrote books and gave sermons in contorversy with the currents considered as pervesions in Christianity. He died in Edessa. His commemoration day is the 9th of June for the Catholics and the 28th of January for the Orthodoxes.
She was a citizen of Nikomedia(İzmit). According to beliefs, she became a Christian in the year of 240 or 306 and he was killed by his father by being beheaded, because she did not deny her belief. His father was stricken by a lightening just after he had done this. The commemoration date of Saint Barbara is the 4th of December.
His tomb is in Hieropolis(Pamukkale) and a big martyry was built in his name.
He was from Caeserea. He was born in 330 and was trained in Constantinopolis and Athens and became the archbishop of Caesarea in 370 and died there on the 1st of January. He was a great theologian. His fame sourced from his leadership in the organization of the church and identification of the rules of the monasteries.
The Christian world considers him as a Saint.
He was the archbishop of the city of Sebaste(Sivas) in Cappadocia. He was one of those who were killed as a result of the attempts for the oppression of Christianity during the period of Licinius. His commemoration day is the 3rd of February.
He contributed a lot to the spread of Christianity in Eastern Anatolia and especially among the Armenians. He lived in Caesarea. According to beliefs, he was the son of Anak who was a Parthian prince of Persian origin. The Armenian King Husrev killed Anak and his family. Only Gregorius was left alive. A stepmother who had converted into Christianity raised him in Caesarea. In 302, he converted Tiridates, the son of the Armenian King Husrev, into Christianity.
Gregorius from Nazianda
He was a great theologian. He occupied the chair of archbishop in Constantinopolis during the period of Theodosius I. He died in Cappadocia in 390.
Gregorius from Nyssa
He was archbishop in Nyssa in Cappadocia. He was the brother of Great Basilius. He fought against the currents considered as pervesions in Christianity and died in 394.
She was the wife of Constantinus and the mother of the emperor Great Constantinus. She went to Jerusalem and became a pilgrim and built numerous churches. She built numerous churches. She built the Sacred Tomb Church together with her husband on the spot believed to be the tomb where Christ was placed in after crucifixion. The date of her commemoration is the 10th of July.
She was from the Psidian Antioch(Yalvaç). According to belief, she lived in the period of Emperor Diocletianus and converted into Christianity with the influence of her nurse and was refused by her father. She was beheaded because she did not respond to the love of Olybrius who was a Roman governor. The day of her commemoration is the 10th of July.
She was from Iconium(Konya). She was converted into Christianity bu Saint Paul. She participated in the travels of Paul and she was tortured by her own family and fiance due to this. She was arrested when she was informed because of her being a “Christian” and was tortured. According to beliefs, she was thrown to the wild beasts during an entertainment in a circus watched by an audience, but the beasts did not touch her. She was tried to be burned on woods, but the flames did not burn her. Thekla settled in a cave near Seleucia(Silifke) after Paul’s death and lived there until very old age. The date of her commemoration is the 23rd of September.
ANTIOCH/ANTIOCHIA(ANTAKYA) Saint Peter
The city, established by the I. Seleucos who was one of the commanders of Alexander the Great in 300 B.C., developed during the Roman and Byzantine eras and became one of the three big metropolises of the period. At the beginning of the spread of Christianity, Saint Paul used this as his base and carried out his activities in here. Antiochia was the center of the disputes between the sects of Christianity. It was the fourth center of this religion together with Jerusalem, Alexandria and Rome.
The Church of Saint Peter
This is a cave on the slope of the Silpius Mountain 2 kilometers away from the city on the highway between Antiochia and Reyhanlı. When Saint Peter first came to Antiochia, he gave his fist sermon here. The cave was turned into a church with additions later.
This place is about 200-300 meters away from the Church of Saint Peter. It is also called as the “sinners bath”.
It was established as the harbour city of Antiochia in the 3rd century B.C.. It became the base of the fleet during the Roman period. Saint Paul started his famous travels from here.
Saint Simon Stylite Monastery
It is near the Nahırlı Village on the Antakya- Samandağ highway. There are the remains of the walls of a complex consisting of two churches, a baptistry and a monastery. It is the only stylite monastery in Turkey. That means, that this is the only monastery of the monks living on columns(stylos in Grek). Therefore, it has a high value.
Saint Barlaham Monastery- Church
This is 3 kilometers southwest of the Yeditepe Village on the ancient Cassios Mountain. The church, constructed in the name of Saint Barlaham at the end of the 5th century, has a cross plan(basilica) with two naves.
It is the most beautiful city in the world, a bridge connecting Asia and Europe, a city ruled by one hundred and twenty-three emperors and sultans, that is ten Roman, eighty-two Byzantine and thirty Otoman rulers, one of the unmatched cities of the world with respect to natural beauties and historical prominence and the capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires.
Hagia Sophia which is a masterpiece of the Byzantine art has created great admiration with the magnificence of its interior ornamentation, its size as to architecture which is unusally big for a church, with the height and long diameter of the dome above the central space beginning from the years it was first built. The building constructed bu Isidoros from Miletus and Antemios from Trellis was completed in 537.
Hagia Irene Church
Hagia Irene built by Constantinus I in the fourth century and which is one of the most important churches of Byzantium had burned during the Nika riot in 532 and it was rebuilt by Iustinianos I.
Hagia Euphemia Church
This church built in the name of Saint Euphemia from Chalcedon is in the vicinity of the Hippodrome. It is famous for its frescos depicting the life of Saint Euphemia in it and its remains as the example of the early church architecture.
Theotokos Pammakaristos Church
It is located between Karagümrük and Fener. It is thought that it was built by Michael DucasGlabas who was a Byzantine commander and by his wife Maria who was the sister of the Emperor Alexius Comninus I in the year of 1292.
Saint Saviour in Chora(Khora) Monastery Church
When it was built by Theodorus in 509, this place was outside the city walls. Therefore, it was called as “in Chora” meaning in the country. The importance of the Chora Monastery Church from the point of the Byzantine art sources from the mosaics and frescos in it.
Saint Saviour Pantepoptes Church
It was founded by Alexius Comnenus I on a slope ruling the Golden Horn between the years of 1081 and 1087.
Saint Saviour Kataleptos Church
It is adjacent to the Valens Aqueduct between Şehzadebaşı and Beyazıt. It was built with the name of Saint Diaconissa Church in the ninth century.
The Pantocrator Monastery Church
Thre are other remains except the relics of Saint Demetrius in this church known to be built during the reign of the Emperor Eons Comnenus II about the end of the Middle Byzantine Period.
Hagia Theodosia Church (literally Rose Mosque)
It is on the Karadeniz Main Street in Ayakapı. Since the name of Theodosia who was unjustly killed was mentioned among the names of the saints, this church was built in her name.
Monastery of Constantinus Lips
This is the church of the monastery founded by Constantinus Lips, the commander of the fleets at the beginning of the tenth century.
Hagios Andreas En Te Krisei Monastery(Church of Saint Andrew Krisei)
It is not known when this monastery was built which bears the name of the apostle Hagios Andreas en te Krisei who is believed to have converted the Byzantines into Christianity.
Myrelaion Monastery Church
It was built as the church of the Myrelalion Monastery built in the tenth century.
It is 15 kilometers east of Nevşehir and 6 kilometers wast of Ürgüp. This is a historical region which is famous for its numerous fairy chimneys in the valley extending between Avcılar and Ürgüp and the rock churches located in Cappadocia. At the beginning of the spread of Christianity, the rocks were carved and turned into one or more storied churches and dwellings both with columns and without them by the people escaping from the Roman torture. The colored frescos of Jesus Christ, the prophets, saints and Virgin Mary on the walls of these churches having a cross plan(basilica) and the caves were painted between the eighth and fourteenth centuries.
Saint Basilius and Saint Gregorius, who are famous in the Christian world, had lived here and the rules of living in a monastery which influenced Europe also have been formed here.
Virgin Mary, Saint John, Saint Luke
There are the remains of an antique city between the Panayır(Mt. Pion) and Bülbül Mountains 3 kilometers west of Selçuk. It is a sacred visiting spot for the Christian world. The city was founded five times, that is, it was first built in 2000 B.C. and rebuilt in the 11th century B.C. as one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League, then it was rebuilt again in the 6th century B.C. and later it was rebuilt in the 4th century B.C. and lastly it was rebuilt on the Ayasalug Hill in the 7th century. In this city, where Saint John lived and died, Saint Paul stayed for three years and preached the Bible. The church of Virgin Mary which is one of the seven churches mentioned in the revelation is also here. There are many monuments and remains related with the beginning of the emergence of Christianity beside the important buildings remaining from the ancient times and the Roman period.
The House of Virgin Mary
The House of Virgin Mary is the house which is about 7 kilometers south of the ancient Ephesos on Mount Aladağ- where Virgin Mary is believed to have lived through her last years.
Cathrine Emmerich who was a German bedridden nun had described such a place in detail with the assumption that she had seen this place in her dream. The Lazarian hermits living in İzmir found the remains of a small building and a spring beside it fitting these descriptions during the surveys they made in 1891. They bought the land and had a road built connecting this spot with the Selçuk county and started to organize a pilgrimage ceremony every year. Pope Johannes XXIII declared the House of Virgin Mary as a sacred pilgrimage site in 1961. Later, a chapel was built on the remains of the bulding. Pope Paulus VI had visited the place in 1967 and Pope Johannes Paulus II in 1979.
It is 40 kilometers east of Edessa. It was both a cultural and religious center in all the periods of history. This is the place where the Prophet Abraham, who is the common prophet of all the celestial religions, was born and grew up and burned to death by King Nemrod.
It is on the ridge of Pamukkale on the east of the Pamukkale village which is 22 kilometers east of Denizli. It is famous due to Saint Philippus. A big martyry was built in the name of Saint Philippus. Montanism which was one of the perversities shaking the church had also emerged in Hieropolis.
This is the remains of an ancient Lykian city on the east hill of the Myra Plain on the shore of the Myra River 2 kilometers north of Kale. This site is known as the meeting place of Saint Paul with the other apostles going to Rome. Further, some of the bones of Santa Claus, who became a legend with the inspiration taken from Saint Nicholas, were found in a chuch built inhis name and they are kept a special case in the Antalya Museum.
The first name of Nicaea, which is a county of Bursa, was Antigoneia when it was first founded by Antigonos who was one of the commanders of Alexander the Great in 316 B.C.. Lysimachos, who captured the city after the death of Antigonos in 310 B.C., gave it as a gift to his wife and named the city after her as Nicaea.
The First Ecumenical Council met here in 325. In 787, the seventh Ecumenical Council also met here.
It is in the middle of the city of Nicaea just at the crossing of the four roads. It was built by the Byzantine Emperor Iustinianos I in the sixth century. The Seventh Ecumenical Council had met in this church in 787.
Hagia Trifon Church
It is in the north of the city and south of the İstanbul Gate. It is a church built during the last era of the Byzantine Empire.
Pisidian Antiochia which is about 56 kilometers west of Akşehir was the place where Saint Paul went on his first travel as a missionary in Anatolia with Saint Barnabas. He first went to the synagogue. The Jews listened to him and were excited. They told them to come on Saturday next week. However, they were jealous when they saw a big crowd consisting of listeners of other nationalities living in the vicinity when they went to listen to Paul and Barnabas. They blamed Paul for coming there to confiscate their land. The other nations welcomed them with enthusiasm. They formed a community with some of the Jews. The opposing Jews chased them. The remains of churches and basilicas most of which were carved from stone, some other carved pieces of Stone and bull’s heads are in the Yalvaç Museum. The aqueduct in the north of the city is still there.
This county, 27 kilometers east of Mersin, wasthe center of the lowland Cilicia in the ancient periods. The founder of Tarsus, where Saint Paul was born, was the Prophet Seth, the son of Adam, according to beliefs. Both the county and the various buildings remaining from different periods in the surrounding indicate this place to have been a settlement area for long. The mosaics found by the excavations made in the foundations are of different varieties and are beautiful. It is believed for the house where Saint Paul lived to be on the sound main street remaining from the Roman period.
He was the archbishop of Smyrna. He died by being burned due to his beliefs when he was eighty-six years old in Smyrna in 155 or 156.
Jacob from Nisibis(Nusaybin)
He was born in Nisibis. He lived a hermit’s life on the mountais for years. He became the bishop of Nisibis in 309. He built the church bearing his name between the years of 313-320 and died in 338. According to belief, he saved Nisibis from the attacks of the Iranian Sasanid Shah-apur II by displaying miracles. He is considered as a Saint.
It is on a sharp slope near Altındere 19 kilometers southeast of Maçka in Trapezus(Trabzon). It was carved as a secret temple in the body of a mountain which was 1300 meters high at the beginning of the spread of Christianity in 406. Two monks called as Varnena and Sophranios built it by carving these sharp rocks upon a dream they had seen. It is known also with the name of Virgin Mary painted by the painter Lugas. It has six stories, two of which are terraces, and seventy-two rooms. The rooms are ornamented with the frescos of Virgin Mary, all the Christian saints and scenes depicting many events mentioned in the Bible.
It is in Uluköy 15 kilometers west of Ezine. The first name of the city was Kestanbol and it was expanded after it was captured by Alexander the Great and he changed its name as Troas. It was one of the cities visited by Paul frequently during his travels.
This is a city which was the capital of the Pergamum Kingdom for 130 years. There are monuments and remains dated to the ancient and Roman ages and to the beginning dates of Christianity in this city founded in the fifth century B.C..
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