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7 Churches in Asia Minor (06 Night – 07 Days Turkey)

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Product code: 7335

We invite all of you to Turkey in 2022 and 2023. House of Virgin Mary takes place in Ephesus and the pilgrimage place for Christians announced by Pope Paul VI in 1967. Turkey, situated on the Anatolian peninsula has been the cradle for a number of civilisations throughout its history.

This was an important crossroad in the region which linked three continents known as the “Old World”. During the polytheistic era in this region, many shrines were built and dedicated to gods and goddesses. As monotheism gradually spread throughout the region, its influence led believers to designate some places as sites of faith.

Especially in Turkey, a number of these religious sites, artifacts can be found in practically every region of the country the names of some of the sites are found in the holy books and they have left an indelible mark in the course of history. Here are some examples stated in various passeges of the New Testament :

• Althought Jesus Christ was born in Israel, the name “Christian” is attributed to his followers not in Israel but in Antioch(Antakya), from where Christianity spread all over the world.

(When he found him, he took him to Antioch and for a whole year the two met with the people of the church and tought a large group. It was at Antioch that believers were first called Christians.Acts of Apostles 11:26)

• St.Paul was born in Tarsus and the house where he was born still remains. (I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia, and brought up here in Jerusalem as a student of Gamaliel…..Acts. 22:3)

• St.Paul preached for the first time in Yalvaç (Pisidian Antioch) (They went on from Perge and arrived in Antioch in Pisidia and on the Sabbath they went into synagogue and sat down… Paul stood up, motioned with his hand and began to speak…Acts.13:14,15,16)

• First, second and third journeys of St.Paul were to Anatolia. (Acts of Apostles)

• The Seven Churches of Apocalypse are all situated in Anatolia. (I said, “Write down what you see and send the book to the churches in these seven cities: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamon, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Leodicea.” The Revelation, 1:11)

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  • See The Legendary Troy - one of the richest cities of ancient times
  • Explore the impressive Acropolis of Pergamon
  • Explore the ancient city of Ephesus and Visit the House of the Virgin Mary where she spent her final days
  • Visit Sardis the capital of the ancient Lydian kingdom and Philadelphia the only church that is not censured
  • Visit ancient Thyatiera and the Saint Polycarp Church
  • Explore Istanbul with its many sights including Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia Mosque and Sultanahmet Square, called Hippodrome in Constantinople once.
Good to Know
  • Scheduling Scheduling: Private Tour
  • Languages offered on the Activity / TourLanguages offered on the Activity / Tour: English
  • Duration Duration:
  • Skip the Line Skip the Line
  • Printed or Mobile Voucher Accepted Printed or Mobile Voucher Accepted
  • Pick-up service Pick-up service
    Pickup from Istanbul Airport or a centrally located hotel in Istanbul.
  • Easy Cancellation Easy Cancellation
    There is no cancellation fee once Customers Cancel at least 7 day(s) prior to the date of the activity or tour.
    There is 50% cancellation fee for Customers to Cancel 3 and 6 day(s) prior to the date of the activity or tour.
    There is 100% cancellation fee for Customers to Cancel 2 day(s) prior to the date of the activity or tour.
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Cut-off TimeCut-off Time
    Available to be booked until 7 days before the tour starts. We reserve the option to confirm the tour or not due to availability.
  • Meals as mentioned in the Itinerary
  • All accommodation
  • An experienced and professional guide
  • Pick up and drop off from Istanbul Airport
  • Private transportation
  • Other services not mentioned
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips and gratuities (optional)
  • Flight Tickets

Here are your journey starts. After arriving in Istanbul, You will be welcomed by your tour guide. During the trip from Istanbul to Canakkale, enjoy the magnificent views of North-West Turkey, stop for a lunch in the local restaurant and wait impatiently to meet the mesmerizing Troy. Troy is an ancient city located in the heart of nature in province Çanakkale, northwestern Turkey. Troy is one of the richest cities of ancient times. It was made famous in Homer’s epic poem, the Iliad. According to Homer’s Iliad, this is where the legendary Trojan War took place. Today, Troy is an archaeological site that is popular with travelers from all over the world. In addition to it being a Turkish national park, it is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Accommodation : A 4-star hotel in Canakkale.

On the way to Kusadasi visit Pergamon (Rev,2:12-17). There is The Red Basilica which is thought to have been built by the Romans as a temple to the Egyptian gods Serapis and Isis in the 2nd century AD. Originally, this must have been an awe-inspiring place. In his Book of Revelation, St John the Divine wrote that this was one of the Seven Churches of the Apocalypse, singling it out as the ‘throne of the devil’. In fact, the building is so big that the early Christians didn’t convert it into a church, but in the 5th century AD built a basilica inside it instead. On the way to Kusadasi visit Pergamon (Rev,2:12-17). There is The Red Basilica which is thought to have been built by the Romans as a temple to the Egyptian gods Serapis and Isis in the 2nd century AD. Originally, this must have been an awe-inspiring place. In his Book of Revelation, St John the Divine wrote that this was one of the Seven Churches of the Apocalypse, singling it out as the ‘throne of the devil’. In fact, the building is so big that the early Christians didn’t convert it into a church, but in the 5th century AD built a basilica inside it instead. St John is believed to have spent the last years of his life in Ephesus writing his version of the Gospel. Emperor Justinian (527-565 AD) believed that a tomb dating from the 300s was John's, so he built a great church above it in the 500s. In later centuries the ruined church was pillaged for building materials, but restoration allows you to see its extent and to imagine its beauties.

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
  • Accommodation : A 4-star hotel in Kusadasi.

Ephesus (Rev,2:1-7) was an important coastal city for Pagans and Christians, for religious and secular reasons, including being the place Romans landed when about to take over the province of Asia. Its ancient population was about a quarter of a million. The temple of Artemis at Ephesus was sponsored by the Lydian king Croesus, designed by the Greek architect Chersiphron, and decorated with bronze statues sculpted by the renowned Pheidias, Polycleitus, Kresilas, and Phradmon. Entrusted one to the other by Jesus himself, John and Mary would certainly respect the last wishes of their beloved Jesus Christ. Therefore, it is entirely plausible to believe that since Mary’s safety would be of paramount importance to John, he took Mary with him to the safety of Ephesus. The people of “Kirkince” (now Sirince), a village about 17 km from Meryem Ana Evi, traditionally believed that there had been a house on Bulbul Dagi (Nightingale Hill) where Mary had lived. Every year on August 15, the Feast of the Assumption, they made a pilgrimage to Meryem Ana Evi. They believed that Mary was Assumed into heaven from this place. Hierapolis is listed in the New Testament along with Laodicea as the center of Epaphras’s work (Colossians 4:13). This was at the time Paul was writing to strengthen the message Epaphras was preaching and to condemn the “people who go in for self-mortification and angel-worship” (Colossians 2:18). Another less well-known resident of Hierapolis was Papias, a disciple of St. John and the author of the lost book called the Sayings of Jesus. Pamukkale, located in the province of Denizli this natural wonder is comprised of terraces and travertine formed by hot springs and streams depositing carbonate minerals. Pamukkale has gained eminence for its waters believed to have curative powers and been used as a thermal bath for centuries.

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
  • Accommodation : A 4-star hotel in Pamukkale.

The ancient city of Laodicea (Rev,3:14-22), also known as Laodicea on the Lycus, is the first institutional and the largest archaeological site in Denizli. Laodicea had one of the seven churches of Asia mentioned in the Book of Revelation. The seventh one is the Laodicea Church. Philadelphia (modern Alashehir) (Rev, 3:7-13) was founded in the 3rd century BC by one of the Pergamenian kings and named after Attalus II (159–138 B.C.) who, in spite of Roman pressure, maintained loyalty and love for his brother, Eumenes II (197–159 B.C.)— thus the name “Philadelphia” (brotherly love). One of the most picturesque areas of any of the Seven Churches is the site of Sardis (Rev,3:1-6). Sardis is an ancient city that was located near the village of Sart, in the Salihli district of Manisa, and was the capital of Lydia state. It was founded in 1300 BC and was destroyed in 1200 AD. Sardes is the place where the money was first printed according to known history. It is also the beginning of the famous King's Road in history. The spur of Mt. Tmolus (Boz Dağ) protrudes from the base of the mountain like the prow of a ship and constitutes the nigh impregnable citadel of the once famous city. Down through the ages wind and water have carved the sandstone and conglomerate of that spur and the surrounding country into distinctive sharp hills. The area of Old Smyrna (Rev,2:8-11) near Bayraklı across the bay from the present Izmir was inhabited during the first half of the third millennium B.C. Smyrna was the second city to receive a letter from the apostle John in the book of Revelation. Acts 19:10 suggests that the church there was founded during Paul’s third missionary journey. Due to the fact that the port city of Izmir houses the second largest population in Turkey today, the site of ancient Smyrna has been little excavated. Excepting the agora, theater, and sections of the Roman aqueduct, little remains of the ancient city.

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
  • Accommodation : A 4-star hotel in Izmir.

The Saint Polycarp Church is the oldest church in Izmir and represents ancient Smyrna’s role as one of the Seven Churches of Revelation. Saint Polycarp was converted by John the Apostle and became Bishop of Smyrna. He was martyred by the Romans at age 86 in 155 AD at Kadifkale, which was atop the hill near modern-day Izmir. According to tradition, when they tried to burn Polycarp at the stake, the flames wouldn’t touch him. They finally stabbed him to death. Akhisar, the site of ancient Thyatira (Rev,2:18-29), is a thriving modern city, but with almost no remains of its old self to be seen except the ruins of an ancient temple, possibly to Apollo, a colonnaded road, and a large church. The city was home to a Christian community from the apostolic period. The community continued until 1922 when the Orthodox Christian population was deported. In the first sentence of the letter in Revelation to the angel of the church in Thyatira, there is a reference to “the Son of God, whose eyes flame like fire and whose feet gleam like burnished brass” (Rev. 2:18). Drive to Bursa and check-in at the hotel overnight.

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
  • Accommodation : A 4-star hotel in Bursa.

Church of the Holy Wisdom “, known as Hagia Sophia (Άγια Σοφία) in Greek, Sancta Sophia in Latin, and Aya Sofya in Turkish, is a former Byzantine church and former Ottoman mosque in Istanbul. Hagia Sophia was rebuilt in her present form between 532 and 537 under the personal supervision of Emperor Justinian I. For over 900 years the Hagia Sophia was the seat of the Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople and a principal setting for church councils and imperial ceremonies. n 1934, under Turkish president Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Hagia Sofia was secularized and turned into the Ayasofya Museum. On 17 July 2020 - following a surprising decision taken by the Turkish government - Hagia Sophia Museum was converted back to a mosque after 85 years. Hippodrome is a great place to start learning about Istanbul. Sultanahmet Square is a historical square located in the Binbirdirek neighborhood of Fatih district of Istanbul. During the Byzantine Empire, it was called Hippodrome in Constantinople. It was an arena used for chariot racing throughout the Byzantine period. First built during the reign of Roman emperor Septimius Severus in the early 3rd century CE, the structure was made more grandiose by emperor Constantine I in the 4th century CE. The Hippodrome was also used for other public events such as parades, public executions, and the public shaming of enemies of the emperor. Following the Fourth Crusade in the early 13th century CE, the Hippodrome fell out of use and its spectacular monuments and artworks were looted.

  • Breakfast
  • Accommodation : A 4-star hotel in Istanbul.

The most valuable treasure collection in the world may be seen in Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. A visit to the Topkapi Palace enables you to visualize how life was lived in an Ottoman Palace, with its fabulous Treasury, Porcelain Pavillion, and the recently restored Harem quarters.The Topkapi Palace Museum ; Sultan Mehmet II. called Fatih the Conqueror, after conquering Istanbul in 1453, built his first royal palace in the Forum of Theodosius, on what are now the grounds of Istanbul University, in the district of Beyazit.Later, impressed by the situation of the Byzantine Acropolis at today’s Saray Point, dominating the confluence of the Bosphorus, the Golden Horn, and the Sea of Marmara, Fatih gave orders for the construction (1475 – 1478) of the palace which is known as the Topkapi Palace. End of the service. Your guide and driver will drop you at the Istanbul International Airport, or Sabiha Gokchen Airport. Or, if you wish to continue your Turkey journey, they will take you to your Istanbul hotel.

  • Breakfast
Pickup and Drop-off
Pick up from Istanbul Airport. Times will be depending on your arrival flight.
Know Before You Go
  • This itinerary is subject to change and may be reversed without prior notice according to weather, museum closing days, daily events or other unforeseen circumstances
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