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Meryemana
The House of the Virgin Mary (Turkish: Meryemana) is a Christian and Muslim shrine located on Mt. Koressos near Ephesus, Turkey; Mary, the mother of Jesus, was taken to this stone house by Saint John and lived there until her Assumption into Heaven. The Seven Churches of Revelation, mentioned by St. John in the Book of Revelation (The Apocalypse) are all found in modern-day Turkey; each church was a founding community of Christianity.

SMYRNA Revelation 2: 8-11 PERGAMUM Revelation 2: 12-17
THYATIRA Revelation 2: 18-29, Acts 16:14 SARDIS Revelation 3: 1-6
PHILADELPHIA Revelation 3: 7-13 LAODICEA Revelation 3: 14-22
EPHESUS Revelation 1:11:2:1-7, Acts 18: 19-28: 19:1-41 and Ephesians
Istanbul and the Seven Churches of the Revelation
10 Days - Turkey
Itinerary
Day 1: Depart the USA on an international flight to Istanbul, Turkey. Meals will be served on the overnight flight.
Day 2: Upon arrival in Istanbul, we are met by our local Tour Director and transferred to our hotel. Dinner and overnight in Istanbul.
Day 3:










Day 4:
Depart after breakfast for a full day city tour of Istanbul. Formerly Constantinople, this once-walled city built on seven hills and situated astride two continents, has been the capital of three great empires. After lunch, we'll see the Hippodrome Square and the fabled Topkapi Palace, once residence of the Ottoman sultans, with its display of holy relics. Then we proceed to the historical Spice Market, followed by a ride on a private boat for a cruise along the Bosphorus Strait, separating Europe and Asia. Dinner and overnight in Istanbul.

Enjoy another full day tour of Istanbul. We will visit the imperial mosques like the famous Sultan Ahmet ("Blue") Mosque and the Suleymaniye Mosque and the Church of St. Sophia (built by Constantine the Great), a great Byzantine basilica converted to a mosque after the conquest of Istanbul, and now designated as a World Heritage site. For lunch, experience the local cuisine before we continue our tour with visits to the Chora Church, known for its gold mosaics, then to the Grand Bazaar. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 5: After breakfast, we fly to Izmir (Symrna) and on to a full day visit to Ephesus, site of the best preserved of the Seven Churches of Revelation and considered one of the most impressive ruins of the biblical world! This ancient city hosts impressive temples, marble streets, library, baths and the grand theatre where St. Paul and St. John preached to the Ephessians. We will visit the House of the Virgin Mary; built by St. John, who brought Her here from Jerusalem to live and where She spent Her last days, and where we will celebrate Mass. We continue to the Basilica of St. John, site of the tomb of Apostle John. The rest of the day is at leisure. Dinner and overnight in Kusadasi.
Day 6: Today, we enjoy a day trip to the ancient city of Miletus, the oldest and the most powerful of the twelve Ionian cities in Asia Minor. It was here that St. Paul gave his farewell speech as found in Acts 20:17-38. We continue our journey back to Izmir, the "Pearl of the Aegean". Dinner and overnight in Kusadasi.
Day 7: Today we visit four churches of the Revelation: Smyrna, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea. After breakfast, we celebrate Mass at the Church of St. Polycarp, the oldest church in ancient Smyrna and symbol of the community of the Seven Churches of the Apocalypse. We continue to Sardis, capital city of the ancient Kingdom of Lydia, to visit the Church of Sardis built on the foundations of the Temple of Artemis. Continue to Alasehir, to see the ruins of the ancient Philadelphia Church, founded by Attalus II, and continue with a visit to Eskihisar, the ancient Laodicea founded around 260 B.C. Then we proceed to Pamukkale, once known as the ancient Roman city of Hierapolis. Admire the beautiful snow-white "frozen waterfalls" once the Roman thermal baths, then to Necropolis. Dinner and overnight in Pamukkale.
Day 8: This morning, we depart for Akhisar to visit the ruins of the Church of ancient Thyatira. Then to Pergamum, capital of a large and powerful pre-Roman kingdom. We will visit the Church at the site of ancient Serapium, the Acropolis, the Red Court dedicated to St. John, and then on to Asclepion, the ancient healing center. Dinner and overnight in Canakkale.
Day 9: After breakfast, we will visit ancient Troy, famous for the legendary Trojan horse from the times of beautiful Helen and Paris. Then we drive back to Istanbul. Dinner and overnight in Istanbul.
Day 10: We bid farewell to Turkey as we board our return to the U.S.
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