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Church of St. Peter

It is a natural cave on the slopes of Mount Habib Neccar, at the 2nd kilometers of Antakya-Reyhanlı Highway. Apostle St. Peter (St. Pierre) started to spread the religion in Antioch after the death of Jesus. Church built on the slopes of Mount Habib Neccar where he preached is one of the first churches in the world.

 

Church of St. Peter is in size of 9,5 meters to 13 meters, and 7 meters high. Facade was made from local materials in Crusaders period in 13th century. There are mosaic ruins on the floor and frescoes ruins on the walls in the church. There are a small pool (water baptism) collecting the water leaking from the rocks in the right, and a secret tunnel on the left.

Front façade of the church was restored by Kapuchin priest in request of Pope Pius IX in 863. Rituals are performed on every June 29 with the participation of ecclesiastics from around and distant cities on this church which was declared as a pilgrimage place for Christians by Pope Paul VI in 1963.

 

The relief of Charonion, the Hell Charon that carved in rocks near the Church of St. Peter is also interesting. This relief was carved in order to prevent the plague epidemic which caused death of many people in Antioch during the Antiochus IV period.