Saturday, 4 July 2015

Antakya - Day 2

3 July 2015 - The stage for today's sightseeing was set by a talk in which Doris Behrens-Abouseif presented a little-known waqf document regarding the endowment of the mosque of the Mamluk sultan Hassan in Cairo (dated 1359). This text contains invaluable information about the topography and commercial life of fourteenth-century Antioch.

Professor Abouseif  during her lecture.

The tour of the city started with a visit to the remote citadel overlooking the modern urban sprawl. A brief introduction to the historical geography of Antioch and its region was followed by a 'fifteen-minute' walk to the fortifications and the sparse architectural remains of several halls belonging to the medieval citadel.

 Top: Scott Redford giving a virtual tour of medieval Antioch.

Middle: The citadel.

Bottom: Edna Stern gazing out at the ruins.

Taking a break from all the castellology, the group spent some time in the thoroughly restored cave church of Saint-Pierre.

The modern façade of the church of Saint-Pierre.

Next up was the new Hatay archaeological museum, housing the magnificent mosaics excavated in the ancient city of Antioch and its environs.

Maria Georgopoulou in contrapposto while admiring the Antiochene mosaics.

Also of note were the medieval exhibits from the ports of Al-Mina and Kinet, which consisted mainly of glazed ceramics and metalwork.

Port Saint Symeon ware at the Hatay Museum.

The day ended with a luxurious dinner featuring the famous Antiochene tepsi kebab and other local delicacies.

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