We recently traveled to Turkey & Greece to study the life and journey of the Apostle Paul. We spent 10 days on a giant bus with 5o members of our family traveling throughout this amazing part of the world. We started our trip in Turkey and ended in Greece (which will be another blog post). It was an amazing trip and we thought it might be fun to show a few of the images we captured!
Our journey first started in Istanbul, a city of over 18 million people! We could have easily spent a week alone in Istanbul! A city full of incredible architecture & wonderful food (baklava & apple tea were two of our favorites!) … such a beautiful culture.
after our time in Instanbul, we headed to the southern part of turkey to a coastal town called Antalya – it was such a charming city with amazing views of the mountains & Mediterranean. Paul sailed with Barnabas from this port city (Acts 14:24-27)
our next stop was Perge which is one of the stops Paul made on his first missionary journey (Acts 13:13, II Cor. 11:23-28)
the theater in Aspendos is the most well preserved theater in Turkey – it was AMAZING!
We then drove about 150 miles (through the mountains) to Pisidian Antioch – Anticoh was important both commercially and militarily as its location was at a major intersection for the Romans. Paul visited here on his 1st journey as well. His lengthy sermon recorded in Acts 13:14-49 is a representative of the type of message he would have delivered in a synagogue.
Laodicea was our next location on our travels throughout Turkey. This particular city is one of the 7 churches of Asia Minor that is mentioned in the book of Revelation (3:14-22). It is located in the fertile Lycus River Valley along the main commercial route which ran from Ephesus on the Aegean cost to Syria.
The town of Hieraplois was next up on our journey – this was probably one of our favorite locations that we visited. This town also has one of the best preserved theaters of the ancient world. Paul mentions Hierapolis in Ephesians 1:3-8, 13
Right outside of the city of Hierapolis are the calcified white cliffs (also called the cotton castle). This was one of the most amazing sites we have ever seen.
Aphrodisias (named after the goddness Aphrodite) this city contained one of the leading sculpture schools in all of the Mediterranean world! The statidum is one of the best preserved and had seating for over 30,000 spectators. Ephesians 2: 1-10
The Apollon Temple in Didyma – the pillars behind us were over 60 feet tall and when this temple was built there would have been over 122 columns like this surrounding the temple.
The view from our hotel room overlooking the Aegean Sea.
One of our last stops in Turkey was the town of Ephesus, which is considered to be one of the most excavated sites in Turkey. On Paul’s 3rd journey, he spent over 2 years in Ephesus, the longest time he devoted to any city. It is believed that Paul wrote I & II Corinthians here.