Faith Centers

Throughout centuries Anatolia has been home to numerous civilizations and their cultures. The cradle of diverse civilizations from early settlements to great empires with different faiths, Anatolia has also been the crossroads of religions.

The Anatolian lands which have harbored many religious beliefs ranging from ancient cults to established religions of the present are at the same time the site of religious monuments that are still preserved with great care.

Church of Saint Pierre The Church of St. Pierre, located at the foothills of Mt Pilgrimage (Hac Dağı) in Hatay province is one of the most significant centers of Christianity. The cave known as the location where St. Peter had given his first sermon was upgraded and turned into a church after the Romans had adopted Christianity. The church was a harbor to the first Christians and the first pope, St. Peter, and contributed to the spread of Christianity in the world.

Ahlat Ahlat, located in the northwest of the Lake Van, welcomes visitors with an arresting sight of glorious tombstones dating back to the Seljuk period. The Seljukian cemetery, which is of great value to Turkish history, is populated with domes made of the local stones of the region of Ahlat.

Cappadocia (Kapadokya) Cappadocia, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and located near to Nevsehir, was formed by layers of lava that volcanoes had spewed around 60 million years ago. The region, settled during the Paleolithic era for the first time, became the epitome of Christianity in the Roman period. The houses and churches carved into the rocks served as shelter as well as education and cultural centers for Christians who fled from the persecution of the Romans.

Van-Akdamar One of the islands of Lake Van, Akdamar, along with its Church and Cathedral of the Holy Cross is an important center for Christianity. Built as a palatine church, Akdamar Church was established by monk Manuel who was also an architect. The church is dedicated to the Holy Cross and has a cross- like layout. The church is made of red colored cut tufa stone that may change color depending on the seasons and light. Many of the carved images and figures on the four walls of the church are depictions of biblical figures and stories. Apart from this, Akdamar has also been associated with a legend involving star-crossed lovers.

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