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Turkey  -  Turkey & The Book Of Revelation
10 Days
9 Nights
After arrival at Airport, check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free to begin exploring the unique atmosphere of this city built on two continents. It is the gateway between the Orient and Occident as well as the Islamic and Christian worlds. At 6 p.m. meet your Tour Director, then enjoy this evening's welcome dinner with your traveling companions. (D)
Guided sightseeing in Istanbul includes visits to the BLUE MOSQUE and TOPKAPI SERAGLIO, the residence of the Ottoman Sultans. Then journey to Iznik (Nicea), site of the First and Second Councils in the early Christian church. The Nicean Creed was written at the First Council to more clearly define the Trinity. Then continue to Bursa. Guided sightseeing features a visit to the GREEN OTTOMAN COMPLEX, the GREAT MOSQUE (Ulu Camii), and the SILK BAZAAR. (BB,D)
Visit Akhisar (Thyathira), a church praised for its increasing faith but criticised for its tolerance of Jezebel, a local false prophet who mislead the local Christians (Rev. 2:18- 29). Arrive in Sardes to visit the SYNAGOGUE, which has been dated back to the 3rd century and where sacred books were kept. Also, see the GYMNASIUM located on the south side of the synagogue. The gymnasium was constructed during the reign of the Roman Emperor Septimius Server (193-211). Afterwards, visit Sart, the church with a reputation for being alive, but which God announced dead. (Rev. 3:1-6). Next, enjoy an orientation of Alasehir (Philadelphia), the church which received God's highest commendation (Rev. 3:7-13). Arrive in Pamukkale, home to the spectacular hot springs, for your overnight. (BB,D)
This morning features a guided visit to the nearby ruins of Hierapolis, an important seat of early Christianity. Visit the MARTYRIUM of Apostle Philip. Continue to the ancient city and church of Laodicea where Apostle John chastised the inhabitants for being lukewarm (Rev. 3:14-22). Next, stop in Aphrodisias, dedicated to the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, and once a centre for the arts. Due to the influence of Christianity in the 6th-century A.D., the name was changed to Stavropolis meaning "City of the Cross." In the 13th century it was abandoned altogether. On to your hotel in Kusadasi. (BB,D)
Enjoy a BOAT CRUISE to Patmos Island and visit the CAVE OF THE APOCALYPSE, where John the Evangelist wrote the Book of Revelation during his exile (Rev. 1:9-11). Balance of the day is at leisure. (BB,L,D)
Arrive at Ephesus, one of the New Testament's most significant cities (Rev. 2:1-7). Apostle Paul came in 53 A.D. to this ancient city and wrote his famous epistle (Acts 18:19-26; Ephesians) to its inhabitants. According to tradition, the Apostle John wrote his Gospel here. This is also the place where the Virgin Mary spent her last days. Visit the ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE, including the HOUSE OF MARY, and the BASILICA OF JOHN THE EVANGELIST. (BB,D)
Journey to Izmir (Smyrna), and enjoy an orientation tour. The city was established in 3,000 B.C., and one of the Seven Churches which John referred to as the poor, persecuted church that God announced was rich due to their faithfulness amidst their suffering (Rev. 2:8-11). Also visit MOUNT PAGOS, where Alexander the Great is regarded as the founder of the city. In 334 B.C., Alexander the Great visited Smyrna and fell asleep while hunting on Mount Pagos. In his dream, the goddess Nemesis asked him to bring the people of the Smyrna-Bayrakli there to establish a new city. Enjoy your overnight stay in Izmir. (BB,D)
Visit Bergama (Pergamum), the church that John both affirmed and chastised (Rev. 2:12-17). See the Red Basilica which housed the 1st-century Christian church referred to by John in Revelation. In addition, Pergamum was an active trade and commerce city in the early centuries, which allowed it to develop the first parchment to compete against the Egyptian papyrus. Visit the Greek ACROPOLIS designed to imitate the one in Athens. Also visit the ASCLEPEION, once dedicated to the Greek god of healing. Continue to TROY, the perfect place to brush up on Homer's Trojan War, hollow wooden horse and all. Spend the night at nearby Canakkale. (BB,D)
By FERRY, cross the Dardanelles back to Europe and the 20th century. Return to Istanbul and continue guided sightseeing including a visit to the HAGIA SOPHIA (meaning Holy Wisdom and named by 4th-century theologians) which began as an early Christian church. Next, visit the GRAND COVERED BAZAAR with plenty of time to explore its 4,000 tiny shops. Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner. (BB,D)
Your tour ends with breakfast this morning. ((B)

On this inspirational and unforgettable journey explore all Seven Churches of Revelation, including Izmir, Ephesus, Laodicea, Alasehir, Sart, Akhisar and Bergama. In addition, visit Patmos Island and the cave where John the Evangelist wrote the Book of Revelation, as well as other important historical Christian sites and cities including Istanbul, formerly Constantinople and home to the famed Hagia Sophia.


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