8 Universal Councils & 7 Churches of Asia Minor 8 Nights / 9 Days Day 1 : ISTANBUL (D) Arrive in Istanbul and transfer to hotel. Enjoy welcome dinner. Day 2 : ISTANBUL (B, L , D) In the morning drive to the old town. First visit Church of Chora (Kariye) see the Byzantine mosaics reflecting Apocalpyse of St. John. Visit the Blue Mosque and the Hippodrome where chariot races were held in Roman times and Hagia Sophia, Church built by th emperor Justinian in the sixth century. After lunch, tour the Topkapi Palace museum with its priceless jewelled objects at Treasury and the Porcelain Collection. Dinner and overnight. Day 3 : ISTANBUL – Nicea (Iznik) – Thyatira – MANISA (B, L, D) Drive Iznik, the ancient Nicea, where the great Ecumenical Council convened in 4th century. See the Church of Hagia Sophia, the city Walls, some Ottoman monuments and visit a tile workshop. Afterwards drive over Bursa town to south , continue to Akhisar, Thyatira to see the remains of Basilica church. Overnight in Manisa. Day 4 : MANISA – Philadelphia – Sardes – PAMUKKALE (B, L, D) In the morning proceed to Sardes another of the Seven Churches.See the Temple of Artemis, restored Gymnasium, earliest Synagogue in Asia Minor. Continue on to Alasehir, Philadelphia, the church of “brotherly love” . Afterwards drive to Pamukkale, see the calcium deposits and luke-warm natural pools. Late afternoon enjoy the lukewarmness of thermal pools dinner and overnight in Pamukkale. Day 5 : PAMUKKALE – Hierapolis – Laodicea – Colossae – KUSADASI (B, L, D) After a visit to Hierapolis ruins and St. Philip`s martyrdom, drive to Laodicea. The church at Laodicea was an extension church of the church at Ephesus, as were the churches of Hierapolis and Colosea. Continue to Colossae. Biblical significance of Colossae lies in the fact that the book of Colossians was addressed to the church here (Col 1:2) and that Philemon lived in this city.. Continue to Kusadasi for overnight . Day 6 : PAMUKKALE – Ephesus – KUSADASI (B, L, D) Early morning departure to Ephesus. St. Arrive to Ephesus , first visit the House of Mary, where she spent her last days. See the chapel built to her name .Then visit the Basilica of St. John. Where he was buried and the Church was promoted by Paul and became the leading church of the earliest Seven Churche sof Asia Minor. In the afternoon visit the ancient ciþty of Ephesus . Paul stayed in Ephesus for two years. The still standing amphitheatre is the witness of the riots against St. Paul. The very first church dedicated to Virgin Mary was built in Ephesus too. Walk thru the marble paved streets see Hadrian Temple, Celsus Library, Agora and Temple of Diana, Dinner and overnight in Kusadasi. Day 7 : KUSADASI – Smyrna (Izmir) – PERGAMUM (B, L, D) In the morning depart for Izmir (Smyrna). Visit the ancient Agora of Smyrna, here was another one of the Seven Churches. After a panoramic drive in the city continue north to Bergama, Pergamum where the Satan’s Throne was. Visit the Acropol , see the altar of Zeus, Trajan Temple, the most steep Theatre. the Asclepion, the earliest health center of Asia Minor. Overnight in Bergama town. Day 8 : PERGAMUM – Troas – Troy – CANAKKALE (B, L, D) After a leisurely breakfast drive north to Troas where St. Paul walked 20 miles with Barnabas from assos to here and set sailed to Greece. See the grand ancient Troas . Afterwards drive to the legendary city of Homeros, Troy. Walk thru the layers of settlements . Overnight in Canakkale Day 9 : CANAKKALE – Border – KAVALA (B) Cross the Dardenelles by ferry and drive through the battlefields of Gallipoli. Continue to Turkey/Greece border. Croos to Greece