Bookmark and Share



























Open the online Arabic language course






Open map of TurkeyFlag of TurkeyTurkey / Cities and Towns /
Antakya





Open street map

Antakya

Antakya, Turkey.
ZOOM - Open a large version of this image

Antakya, Turkey. Photo: maarten sepp2011.

Antakya, Turkey.
ZOOM - Open a large version of this image

Photo: maarten sepp2011.

Antakya, Turkey.
ZOOM - Open a large version of this image

Photo: maarten sepp2011.

Antakya, Turkey.
ZOOM - Open a large version of this image

Photo: Neil and Kathy Carey.

City in southern Turkey with 180,000 inhabitants (2003 estimate), near the mouth of the Orontes River, 40 km from the Mediterranean Sea and 20 km northwest of the Syrian border. It is the capital of the Hatay Province with 1.3 million inhabitants (2004 estimate).
The economy of Antakya is mainly based upon the agriculture of the region, producing mainly wheat, cotton, grapes, rice, olives, vegetables and fruit, especially melons. The industries in Antakya include cotton ginning, smaller processing plants, the production of silk, soap, leather goods (especially shoes) and knives.
Anktakya is well-connected with other urban centres by road. Iskenderun is 60 km north, Adana 250 km northwest and Aleppo, Syria 110 km east.
Antioch (Antakia) was an extremely important city during Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine times, both with its economy and in its political importance. It was divided into three urban zones. In addition to Antioch, there was Daphne, laid out as a wealthy residential area, and Seleucia Pieria, 40 km southwest, which was the harbour. With the arrival of the Romans in the 1st century BCE, great temples, palaces and theatres were built, aqueducts were extended and the main streets were paved with marble.
Very little remains from Antioch's magnificent past, but excavations have been undertaken in Daphne as well as in Antioch itself. The excavation has uncovered mainly fine mosaic floors from private houses.

History
301 BCE: Founded by Seleucus 1, a general in the army of Alexander the Great. It soon became an important terminus of the caravan routes coming from Persia and other Asian regions. It is named Antioch.
63: Antioch is annexed by the Romans, and becomes capital of their Syrian province. Hence, Antioch keeps its regional importance, and sees great expansion under its new masters.
Around 50 CE: Antioch becomes the headquarters of Paul during his missionary journeys, and it is believed to be the place where the Jesus-Jews first emerged as a religious group outside Judaism, marking the start of Christianity. Antioch remains the leading centre of Christianity until the 4th century.
260: Conquered by the Persians.
4th century: Falls under Byzantine rule.
525: A great fire destroys parts of Antioch.
526: A heavy earthquake hits Antioch, reportedly killing 250,000.
528: A new earthquake destroys more of Antioch, but reconstruction is begun immediately.
540: Antioch is temporarily captured by the Persians.
611: Persians take temporary control of Antioch for the second time in 70 years, but long term, it remains under Byzantine control.
637: Falls under Muslim Arab control. This became the actual blow to Antioch's wealth, as it now was reduced to an unimportant regional town, given that the Middle Eastern trade routes now found new Mediterranean ports.
969: Captured by the Byzantines, and is upgraded in importance, becoming a frontier fortification towards neighbouring kingdoms.
1084: Captured by the Seljuq Turks.
1098: Captured by the Christian Crusaders after an 8 month longe siege. The Turkish population is massacred, and the city is made the capital of one of their principalities.
1268: Captured by the Mamluks of Egypt, who destroyed all important houses and the infrastructure. Antioch would not recover from this, and would become just a small village for centuries.
1516: Incorporated into the Ottoman Empire.
1920: Becomes part of the French mandate of Syria.
1937: Becomes part of the autonomous Sanjak province of Alexandretta.
1939: The district of Alexandretta is transferred to Turkey.




By Tore Kjeilen