The factors that make Hatay attractive is its history, nature and culture as well as its climate characteristics, being a border city connecting the country to the Middle East, and being the last point of Mesopotamia in the Mediterranean Sea. (Ministry of Tourism) The fact that Hatay hosted many different civilizations and created different cultures in time, let to a more remarkable characteristic of the cultural, ethnic and religious structure.
In Hatay city, there are many tourist attraction potentials other than belief and nature tourism. Hatay is a city which has spread over various regions and has a structure based on historical assets in general. In addition to all values, the presence of elevations and the unspoiled natural life in these areas offer an alternative in terms of eco-tourism to Hatay.
Hatay Archaeology Museum
The structure of Hatay, which witnessed various cultures from the early ages to the middle ages, was preserved, researched, interpreted, and presented to the whole world in this museum. The New Hatay Archaeology Museum, which covers all the requirements of the new museum concept, is one of the few archaeology museums in the world that includes all the features of a cultural institution.
It was built in 300 B.C. by SeleuykosNikator and is known by the name of its founder. The tunnel was built in order to remove the flood waters. It is a total 1380 meters long tunnel with 300 meters open area. There are rock tombs 100 meters away from the Titus tunnel.
Harbiye waterfall, known as the place where famous love story of Apollo and Daphne in mythology pass, is a well-known summer resort. In Hellenistic and Roman period this place was a world-renowned resort with its cascades.
St. Simeon Monastery
It is known that St. Simeon came to the monastery, which was built on a hill at an altitude of 479 meters in 6th century AD, in 541 and lived on the column here for 40 years. St. Simeon is the most important representative of his cult.
Payas Sokullu Mehmet Paşa Külliyesi (Islamic-Ottoman Social Complex)
The complex built by Mimar Sinan in 1571 by the order of Sokullu Mehmet Pasha, is one of the best examples of Ottoman architecture. There is a caravansary, a market place, a bath, a mosque and a madrasa in this complex.
Saint Pierre Church
It is a natural cave, which is an extension of the Habib-iNeccar mountain range of 7 meters. After the death of Jesus Christ, Pierre the Apostle came to Antakya (the first half of the 1st century BC) where he started to indoctrination. The Christian name (Christos) who believed in Jesus was first given to this church community. In 1983, it was accepted as the pilgrimage site of Christianity by Pope VI. Every year on 29 June, St. Pierre Day celebrations are held.
Church and Synagogue
There are historical Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant churches as well as the Synagogue in the centre of our city. In these buildings, which is open to local and foreign visitors and carrying the traces of history, worship is continuing.
Dome of Khidr
Hatay is the first place in Turkey where the dome established and it is known as the place where the most dome existing. It is known that the big rock in the tomb is the rock where Khidr and Ilyas gather on the day of hıdrellez.
Habib-i Neccar Mosque
The mosque, known as the first mosque in Anatolia, was built EbulUbeyde Bin Cerrah (one of the commanders of Hz. Ömer) in 636 AD, during the conquest of Antakya. In the mosque, there is the mausoleum of Habib-I Neccar and the fountain of the 19th century.
NATURE AND SEA TOURISM
Besides sea, plateau and similar natural assets, Hatay is quite prone to various special tourism activities due to forest areas, flora, fauna and landforms. Mountain biking, hiking, camping, caravanning, bird watching, diving and water sports are the main activities of adventure sports. Also, touristic boat trips are organized in the district of İskenderun and Samandağ.
The region where greenery and a unique forest dominate is quite suitable for health tourism. This plateau, which is the terrace of the Gulf of İskenderun, is highly appreciated by the locals especially during the summer months.
Known as the place where Rhosus city was founded during the Seleucus period, Arsuz district is a holiday and tourism district. It serves sea tourism in summer.
Located in the foothills of Musa Mountain, Çevlik carries the traces of the ancient city of SeleukiaPierra. Although it was founded during the Hellenistic period, cave settlements dating to Palaeolithic age were found. The most important reason for the establishment of this city is the desire to dominate the Mediterranean at that time.
Handicrafts, which have been common in Hatay in the past, are now being forgotten as a result of technological developments and the masters of these arts have not been left. Production of imitations of stone works, historical and mythological works and sculptures; silk weaving; wood carving; material production, laurel (gar) soap making are the main handicrafts alive.
Hatay’s culinary culture, which has many different ethnic elements from past to present and which is on the transition route of trade routes, has been enriched in this way. The multi-cultural structure of the Hatay region is also reflected in the food culture of Hatay. In this context, the food culture is an important cultural system in which the food is followed by a process that follows from the production to the consumption and the moral and material cultural elements that arise depending on this process. Antakya’s food culture is shaped by environmental conditions, socio-cultural structure, economy and religious beliefs.
There are many reasons why Hatay cuisine is so special. However, most importantly, it is able to transfer its cultural richness to the kitchen, more importantly, despite all kinds of modern pressures, cities that succeeded in developing it are almost not encountered, whereas Hatay cuisine is the best example of this. In this direction, the uniquely beautiful cuisine of Hatay was registered and crowned by the UNESCO Creative Cities network with the theme of “Table of Civilizations”.
In addition to showing similarities with Middle Eastern cuisine due to its geographical location, it also has many common food varieties and traditions with Anatolia. However, this similarity still does not eliminate the distinctive state of Hatay cuisine. The richness of the Hatay cuisine is primarily due to the suitability of the environmental conditions. Located in a suitable area for the production of all kinds of food in terms of climate, water, agricultural land, large and small animal husbandry, has an indisputable importance in shaping the cuisine. Cause the basic raw materials of the dishes, which are component of the cuisine, is also met at low cost with the local production. The fact both the production is made easily and the cost is suitable cause’s culinary culture to be shaped seriously.
As a result, Hatay cuisine is one of the richest cuisines of Anatolia with its meat dishes, stuffed vegetables, vegetable dishes, jams, pickles, pilaffs, appetizers and salads, herb dishes collected from nature, desserts, pastries and pies, dairy products and dry foods. Hatay, as it is with its history, has gained a reputation with its dishes and the deep-rooted history of the city has produced a very rich cuisine which has emerged as a result of the fusion of various cultures.
Hatay’s culinary culture, which has a very different ethnic background from past to present and is on the transition route of trade routes, is very rich. It can easily be said that the Hatay cuisine is literally a table of civilizations. Therefore, Hatay is very important destination in terms of gastronomy tourism.
Each country needs to recognize the Hatay cuisine and taste the local unique flavours.
One of the most important factors of being a kitchen is that it needs to have unique and many recipes.
Over 200 recipes from more than 400 recipes in the Hatay cuisine, as well as the forgotten recipes of nearly 40, shows that it is a sizeable kitchen size. Considering 315 recipes in Ottoman cuisine, it is possible to see the importance of Hatay cuisine.