Alahan Monastery is seen as one of the important points of Turkey and the world in terms of faith tourism. The believers in the early periods of Christianity generally used remote, mountainous and secret places for accommodation in order to protect themselves from the persecution and oppression of the Romans. It is known that St Paul and St. Barnabas, two of the most important figures of Christianity, stayed here while spreading this new religion in Anatolia.

After the pressure on Christianity was lifted and Christianity was accepted as the official religion of Roman Empire, a monastery was built here in the 5th century in the memory of St. Paul and Barnabas during the reign of Emperor Issaurali Zenon.  Over time new structures were added and the monastery took its current form. Alahan Monastery is on the Karaman-Mut-Silifke-Tarsus-Antakya route used by Christians on their pilgrimage from Europe to Jerusalem and is an important pilgrimage point.

It is possible to say that the monastery is generally well preserved and most of its buildings are still standing. So much so that Evliya Çelebi used the expression "as if it was just made by a master" for this place in his Travel Book.

Alahan Monastery was included in the UNESCO temporary heritage list in 2000. The sunset view of the Alahan Monastery, which is in a position dominating the Göksu Valley, is especially impressive.

Alahan Monastery Plan

Alahan Monastery; consists of the Western Church, the Monastery, the Eastern Church, monk chambers carved into the rocks, and the tombs in the surrounding area on a terrace in the east-west direction. The Alahan Monastery is an architectural structure that draws attention with its features such as the interlocking of cut stones and almost no plaster used, the excellent stone workmanship in the building, the road connecting the churches, the cross-shaped baptismal pool and the bath. A masterful stone carving is seen in the decoration of the buildings. Figures of angels Gabriel and Michael, symbols of eagle, ox and roaring lion, depictions of biblical writings, vine leaves, bunches of grapes and fish motifs can still be seen here.

Eastern Church

This building is one of the first and unique domed structure in early Christian architecture. It is thought that Hagia Sophia, which was built about 70 years later, was built by taking this domed structure as an example. There are masterful ornaments and motifs at many points of the church. There is 1 window in every direction of the walls of the dome, which is close to a rectangular plan.

Where is Alahan Monastery? Directions Information. How to go to Monastery?

Alahan Monastery, located within the borders of Geçimli Village, Mut District of Mersin, is 201 km from Mersin and 24 km from Mut.

In order to reach Alahan Monastery from Mersin, turn north from Silifke and go in the direction of Sertavul Pass-Karaman, after passing the Mut District center, turn right from the signboard at approximately 24 km.

There is no public transportation access to the Alahan Monastery, but since the monastery is 2 km from the Mersin-Karaman road, you can get off very close to the monastery by using the intercity buses going from Mersin to Konya via Sertavul Pass, and reach the monastery by private vehicle or walking.

Entrance to Alahan Monastery is free.

Places to be seen around Alahan Monastery

Yerköprü Waterfall : 55 km