Jorge Sanchez (Spain):
I arrived in the evening to Tarsus, by train from Konya, after transshipment. In the railway station I asked the people for a cheap hotel nearby, but it was incredible, there was none! Usually, in every city you find lodgment close to the bus and train station, but not in Tarsus. I asked no less than five persons and everybody sent me to the downtown, to where I walked during 20 minutes or so, and finally I found one, called Ogretmenevi, at a reasonable price (about 18 Euro a night in a single, with breakfast, including eggs). I bought some food in a supermarket close to the hotel and, since it was already dark to walk around, I stayed in my room until the morning, when I visited Tarsus during half a day.
I noticed several ruins in the central streets; there were several archeological sites and people excavated to discover Greek fragments of the old Tarsus, a city 6000 old. I saw fragments of the two concentric defensive walls that protected the city in ancient times.
During my walks to discover Tarsus I entered a mosque that had been in the past an Armenian church. There were Ataturk monuments, as in every Turkish city. Also I went to the Church of Saint Paul, but it was closed and could only visit it externally. Then I stopped in front of the huge Cleopatra Gate, through which Cleopatra and Marco Antonio entered the city in the first century Before Christ.
But the best were the Tarsus old houses with balconies and just next door the Roman era stone well of Saint Paul. I paid the entrance fee and entered the place.
Inside I saw plaques with the history of Saint Paul and his travels, some archeological fragments, ruins and several columns. But the most important was the well. The employee of the site suggested me to drink water from the well, and even she helped me to extract it from a bucket. I was thirsty, so I drank to glasses.
At about midday, after having visited still some other places in Tarsus, I left the city by buses to the fantastic ruins of Nemrut Dagi, where I would arrive in the evening.
Date posted: August 2014
Have you been to St. Paul Church, St. Pauls Well and surrounding historic quarters? Share your experiences!