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Cave of Saint Peter

a Pleiades place resource

Creators: Reid Richardson
Contributors: Jeffrey Becker, Tom Elliott
Copyright © The Contributors. Sharing and remixing permitted under terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (cc-by).
Last modified Nov 17, 2021 11:32 AM History
A cave in the outskirts of Antioch that was converted into a church.

36.2093689, 36.178074

church, cave, church, monastery (deprecated)


The city of Antioch was called by the Romans Antiochia ad Orontes with reference to the river which crossed it. Antioch soon became the most important city of the area. In the 2nd century AD it had 500,000 inhabitants and with Alexandria it was for several centuries the main center of this part of the Eastern Roman Empire. Antioch played a great role in the early development of Christianity and St. Peter and St. Paul are said to have lived there for many years. A cave in the outskirts of the ancient city is considered the most ancient church and it was visited by Pope Paul VI in 1962.

Each year this grotto, also called the Church of St Peter, is visited by thousands of tourists and pilgrims. Thus the grotto was proclaimed a "site of pilgrimage in 1963 by Pope Paul IV". (Dark 209) Furthermore, it is claimed that this cave was used as a church by the Apostle Peter and the first Christians and that it was here the name Christian was used for the first time. It is claimed that Peter when coming to Antioch decided to found a church there and found the cave fitting for this purpose. It is held that the grotto was chosen because it was a suitable hiding place for the persecuted Christians. Sources: Diana Dark, Eastern Turkey (Connecticut: The Globe Pequet Press Inc., 2014) 209.; Uysal Yenipınar, Antiocheia, Hatay (Izmir: Etki, 2010) 246.

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Reid Richardson, Jeffrey Becker, and Tom Elliott, 'Cave of Saint Peter: a Pleiades place resource', Pleiades: A Gazetteer of Past Places, 2021 <> [accessed: 10 December 2023]

            {{cite web |url= |title=Places: 768102284 (Cave of Saint Peter) |author=Richardson, R. |accessdate=December 10, 2023 1:20 am |publisher=Pleiades}}