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|50||St. Peter of Antioch preached in the cave for the first time.|
|1983||the church was declared a holy site by the Vatican.|
|01-MAR-2008||cave and church closed due to structural concerns.|
The old name of Antakya is Antioch, a name which is known by many people through St. Peter of Antioch. The holy man stayed here some time around the year 50 and used a cave to worship god. Here the Apostle preached for the first time and here he established the Christian community, introduced the word Christ.
Later, inside the cave a church was built, which is today called St. Peter's Church This cave church is often called the first Christian church built by man.
The cave is reached by going up the stone steps, on the right a relief in the mountainside with a veiled person who looks over the city and most probably dates back to the 2nd century BC. The cave is hidden by a forefront and facade, built by the Crusaders. In the cave there is a small altar, part of a mosaic floor and some fresco's.
Lately  huge parts of the cave collapsed. The possibility of further collapses means a serious danger for the security of visitors, and caused the closure of the cave by the Turkish authorities.