The Wonderland Hatay

IF WE WERE TO COMPARE A CITY TO A PERSON, HATAY WOULD CERTAINLY BE A WEALTHY, NOBLE AND WISE ARISTOCRAT

Hatay, is one of the parts of the world where nature and the history of civilization have been most generous. Earth, water, mountain and sea decided to join forces here and bestow on human beings one of the most beautiful cities in the world. What they offered was Hatay. On one side the Mediterranean’s vast sparkling waters under a munificent sun, on the other the cool, thyme-scented breezes blowing down from the Amanos Mountains, the legendary Asi River and the fertile Amik Plain.

A LONG HISTORY
If we were to compare a city to a person, Hatay would certainly be a wealthy, noble and wise aristocrat. Once an international trading base for the early Phoenician colonies, Hatay exhibits influences of both the European and the Middle Eastern civilizations. Its historic mosques, churches and synagogues fill with believers, for Hatay without a doubt is a place where permissively bonds of religion and faith run deep.

HATAY CUISINE
Hatay cuisine dazzles with its rich array, and while you’re in the city you must not miss breakfast with its variety of local cheeses, or the cold mezzes, or the kebabs and stews that you can find only in Hatay. Meanwhile the best followup to a delicious meal is the sweet pastry known as Hatay knafa, which is served hot.

MUST-SEE’S
Hatay is home to dozens of ancient cities and settlements of all sizes. Antakya Archaelogical Museum tops the list of venues where you can observe the regional cultures, most notably the mosaics. Other spots worth seeing in the vicinity include the district of Harbiye (ancient Daphne), known for its legends, the Qasr al-Bint or Girls’ Palace, the ruins of Issos, Habib-i Nejjar Mosque and the smaller historic mesjids, Barlaam Monastery, the Antioch churches and the Titus Tunnel.

THE FIRST MOSQUE OF ANATOLIA
Hatay is a city of firsts. Habib-i Nejjar Mosque is the first mosque built in Anatolia, and the Church of Saint Peter one of the first examples of the early Christian cave-churches.