General Information

Antakya (Hatay, Antiochia) was founded by Seleucus on the banks of the Orontes River, which he gave the name of his father; In the Hellenistic world Antioch won great importance as a harbor city and center of trade.

Culture and History

Its harbor city, Alexandretta (Iskenderun) was founded by Alexander the Great, and was named in his honor, similar to Alexandria of Egypt. Following Syrian rule, the city was shortly ruled by the Armenian King Tigranes, which was followed by the Roman conquest. The Romans had then appointed the city as the capital to their province of Syria.

Antioch became a haven for early Christianity. Peter and Paul housed here temporarily, and had met with the Antiochian evangelists Luke and Paulus started in this city. In addition, the city had a significant Jewish population, as is evident with the early synagogues that still stand today.

Just as the other cities in its region, it was under Byzantine, Arab, Seljuk, Mongolian, (again) Seljuk and finally, Ottoman rule. Today, it is within the Hatay province of Turkey.