Memorial Church of St Peter

Eastern Mediterranean

This early Christian church cut into the slopes of Mt Haç (or Staurin, the 'Mountain of the Cross') is thought to be the earliest place where the newly converted followers of Jesus Christ met and prayed secretly. Peter lived in Antioch between AD 47 and 54 and almost certainly preached here. Tradition has it that this cave was the property of St Luke the Evangelist, who was born in Antioch, and that he donated it to the burgeoning Christian congregation.

When the First Crusaders took Antioch in 1098, they constructed the wall at the front and the narthex, the narrow vestibule along the west (left) side of the church. To the right of the altar faint traces of an early fresco can be seen, and some of the simple mosaic floor from the 4th or 5th century survives. The water dripping in the corner is said to have curative powers. It was declared a pilgrimage site in 1983 by Pope Paul VI.

Just 2.5km northeast of the city, St Peter's church is accessible on foot in about half an hour along Kurtuluş Caddesi.

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