The ‘Old City’. Visit the Hippodrome of Constantinople, the centre of Byzantine civic life, where horse and chariot races used to take place. Visit the Blue Mosque, known for the impressive blue tiles lining its walls. The Basilica of Haggia Sophia (Divine Wisdom), now called the Ayasofya Museum, is unquestionably one of the finest buildings of all time. Built by Constantine the Great, it was reconstructed by Justinian in the 6th century.
Adana, ancient Cilicia.
Ancient Antioch. Antioch is thought to have been founded in 300 BC. St Peter was the first to preach here, followed by St Paul and Barnabas whose extensive efforts proved to be very fruitful for Christianity. Highlights include the museum which houses a superb collection of mosaics from Antioch, Daphne and Seleucia Pieria. St Peter’s Grotto, the cave church, came to be known as the meeting place of the early Christians. The most interesting monument here is the Tunnel of Titus, which is a tremendous canal dug for the purpose of diverting waters from the Orontes River. Another highlight is the rock tombs with their impressive facades pertaining to the Hellenistic period.
Visit the Valleys of Goreme to explore the unusual troglodyte dwellings, remains of the early churches comprising complicated rooms hollowed out of the cones of volcanic ash and decorated with scratched frescoes. Visit the Apple Church, the Church of Sandals, and the Church with a Buckle in Goreme.
Hierapolis, which was founded by Pergamon King Telephus and named after his wife, Hiera. During the Byzantine period, the city became the seat of diocese with a large Christian Church dedicated to St Philip, who was martyred there in 80 AD. Highlights include the Roman Baths, the Temple of Apollo, the Theatre and the famous white calcium cascades of Pamukkale (the white “Cotton Castles”).
In Laodicea there is a Theatre, a large Stadium, a Water Tower and an Odeon. This city is supposed to have been named by Antiochus II in honour of his wife, Laodicea.
Philadelphia which was an important Christian centre during Byzantine times.
The famous city of Ephesus, one of the world’s finest archaeological sites. Visit the Basilica of St John “the Evangelist” who came here with the Virgin Mary and wrote his Gospel in Ephesus. The Temple of Artemis, considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of Antiquity, was located here. Highlights include the Library of Celcius, the Temple of Hadrian, the Fountain of Trajan and the Theatre. Visit the House of Virgin Mary (on top of Mt Coressos). She was believed to have spent her last years in this area. On 18 August 1961, Pope John XXII proclaimed this place to be sacred.
The hauntingly beautiful Pergamon. Among the impressive structures of this city, dating from 399 B.C., we will see the Altar of Zeus, Temple of Dionysus and the 200,000 volume library which was surpassed only by that found in Alexandria at the time.
Troas was a busy port situated on the north-west coast of Asia Minor. During his stay in Troas, St. Paul had a dream in which he saw a vision of a man asking him to “come over to Macedonia and help us” after which he decided to go to Europe.
Assos perched high on a cliff overlooking the Aegean and the Island of Lesbos is breathtaking. Its Acropolis carries the impressive Temple of Athena. Arriving at Assos on foot from Troas, St. Paul preached here and climbed down to the little port on the shore to board the boat on his return journey to Jerusalem.
ISTANBUL – ADANA – ANTIOCH – CAPPADOCIA – KONYA – PAMUKKALE – HIERAPOLIS – LAODICEA – PHILADELPHIA – KUSADASI – EPHESUS – IZMIR – PERGAMON – ASSOS – CANAKKALE – KAVALA – THESSALONIKI – KALAMBAKA – DELPHI – ATHENS – CORINTH – ATHENS – ROME
ISTANBUL – ALEXANDRIA TROAS – ASSOS – PERGAMON – THIATERA – IZMIR – SARDIS – PHILADELPHIA – PAMUKKALE – HIERAPOLIS – LAODIKEIA – KUSADASI- EPHESOS – EMBARKATION 3 DAYS ICONIC AEGEAN SEA CRUISE – PATMOS – CRETE (HERAKLION) – SANTORINI – DELPHI – KALAMBAKA (METEORA) – ATHENS – CORINTH – ATHENS
ISTANBUL – CAPPADOCIA – ISTANBUL – ALEXANDRIA TROAS – ASSOS – PERGAMON – THIATERA – IZMIR – SARDIS – PHILADELPHIA – PAMUKKALE – HIERAPOLIS – LAODIKEIA – KUSADASI – EPHESOS – 4 DAYS ICONIC AEGEAN SEA CRUISE – PATMOS – RHODES – CRETE (HERAKLION) – SANTORINI – ATHENS – CORINTH – ATHENS – ROME – ASSISI – ROME