Today was spent in Antakya and Seleucia.
We started out the day with a worship service at the hotel. We had a traditional service with singing, prayers, taking of the Lord’s Supper and a great lesson on Antioch a Model Church by our tour leader.
After services we went and visited the Antakya Arkeoloji Muzesi or Antioch Archaeology Museum. Unfortunately for us, the museum is in the process of being moved to a new larger building and only a few exhibits were still open. I guess that I will just need to come back some day to see the new museum.
The museum has the second largest collection of Roman Mosaics. We only saw a small portion, and the most impressive examples have already been moved. The Mosaic above is from the 3rd Century and was from Samandag. The story of Eros and Psyche is shown in the mosaic. Wandering around in my mind is a future post using this picture as a basis.
Fortunately the Sarcophagus of Antakya was still in the old museum building. This is an impressive work of sculpture. In the picture above you only see one side of the sarcophagus. I plan on writing a separate post about it in the future.
The inscription reads: “Divine Vespasian and Divine Titus made it”
There are also some Greek words in the lower part of the inscription that were most likely added much later.
After eating lunch while overlooking the Mediterranean Sea we headed off to visit the monastery of Simon Stylites the Younger. He lived on a mountain near Seleucia in the sixth century. Unfortunately we were unable to visit the ruins as they were under re-construction.
We then drove back down the windmill strewn mountain and headed back to our hotel in Antakya.
We did try and make one more stop at the Church of St. Peter. We knew that the church was being re-constructed, but though that we would still be able to take pictures of the entrance. The view from the church is also very nice. However, we were unable to get close to the church and had to turn around and head to the hotel.
I had a nice walk around the hotel neighborhood and then it was time for a nice dinner. After dinner I went with a few friends to have ice cream for a second desert.
As soon as I can get pictures uploaded with the agonizingly slow up-link I will be heading to bed. It has been a long day.
Tomorrow we are off to Adana with several stops along the way.
p.s. Remember to check out the Turkey page for links to the previous blog posts from the trip and links to other bloggers in our group.