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Antakya

(3.6/5 based on 1,100+ reviews for top 10 attractions)
Things to do: historic sites, museums, nature
Antakya, is the seat of the Hatay Province in southern Turkey.In ancient times, Antakya was known as Antioch, was for centuries one of the largest cities in the Roman Empire, and was an influential early center of Christianity. It has a population of about 250,000. Most of the population speaks Turkish as their native language, while a minority are native Arabic speakers. Antakya is situated in a well-watered and fertile valley.HistoryAntiquityAntioch has been occupied by humans since the Calcolithic era (6th millennium BC), as revealed by archeological excavations of the mound of Tell-Açana, among others.Subsequent rulers of the area include King of Macedonia Alexander the Great who, after defeating the Persians in 333 BC, followed the Orontes south into Syria. The city of Antioch was founded in 300 BC, after the death of Alexander, by the Seleucid King Seleucus I Nicator. It had an important role as one of the largest cities in the Roman Empire and Byzantium, and was a key location of the early years of Christianity, the Syriac Orthodox Church Antiochian Orthodox Church, the rise of Islam, and the Crusades.
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