Hatay Cave Church of Saint Peter
The Cave Church of Saint Peter is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Hatay, Turkey. It is believed to be the first church in the world, and it is a significant site for both Christianity and Islam.
The church is carved into the side of Mount Staurin, and it is believed that Saint Peter preached here in the first century AD. The church was later converted into a mosque, and it was restored to its original Christian form in the 20th century.
The church is a single-room structure with a width of 9.5 meters, a length of 13 meters, and a height of 7 meters. The walls are decorated with frescoes that depict scenes from the life of Christ. The church also contains a stone altar that is believed to be the original altar used by Saint Peter.
The Cave Church of Saint Peter is a popular tourist destination, and it is a reminder of the rich history of Christianity in Turkey.
Here are some additional details about the church:
- The church is located in the city of Antakya, which was once known as Antioch. Antioch was an important center for early Christianity, and it is believed that the first Christians in the city met here.
- The church is carved into a limestone rock formation. The rock is soft and easy to carve, which made it a good choice for a church.
- The church was built in the first century AD, but it was not officially recognized as a church until the 4th century AD.
- The church was converted into a mosque in the 16th century. The mosque was used until the 20th century, when it was restored to its original Christian form.
- The church is a popular pilgrimage site for Christians and Muslims.