Sunday, October 24, 2010

Another Day, Another Cave: St. Pierre's in Antioch

From Gaziantep we headed further west, turning south after Osmaniye, and heading toward Antakya, the ancient Antioch. How Antakya comes to be part of Turkey is interesting. Formerly, until 1939, it was part of Syria, French Syria then. A plebescite took place, and the citizens of Antakya and its province voted to become part of the new Republic of Turkey. (The same thing happened, in the 1860s, with Nice; given a choice between being French or Italians, the Niceans voted overwhelmingly to become French; thus you might say that Antakya is to Turkey as Nice is to France; well, you might...). Antakya retains a bit of its French past; thus St. Pierre's church. We managed to find the church, in the near outskirts, and toured it before driving into ground zero Antakya.
Facade, 19th century, for St. Peter's, Antioch

Just enlarge and read to see this was a pretty
important place for the earliest Christians; and,
as you can see, Vicki and I both have plenary
indulgences going for us now (whatever they
are; does this mean we can park anywhere
we like? only in Christendom? only in the
Citta del Vaticano?)


Remains of mosaic floor

The baptismal font (no full immersion here)

Ex Cathedra

Looking out to Antakya; in ancient times, it was the Empire's
3rd largest city; vied with Constantinople; then earthquakes
and invasions laid it low; still has 600,000 residents, however

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