İskenderun's 15 minutes
of fame came with its cameo appearance
in the movie Indiana Jones
and the Last Crusade, but
in fact this is quite a historic
Originally called Alexandretta,
İskenderun (eess-KEHN-deh-roon, pop.
175,000), at the far end of the Turkish Mediterranean
coast, was founded by Alexander
the Great (Büyük
İskender in Turkish) as a port.
It's still an important port today
İskenderun's modern waterfront today...
But unless you're passing through
by ship, there's little to detain you,
although the Sokollu Mehmet Pasha
Caravansaray in nearby Payas,
22 km (14 miles) to the north, and
its neighboring Fortress of the
Genies (Cin Kalesi) are
worth a look. More...
Otherwise you're probably on your
way to or from Antakya (Hatay, Antioch-ad-Orontes)
and its famous Roman mosaics and cave-church
of St. Peter. Bus is
the best way to go.
I've written about my adventures in
Old İskenderun and the province of Hatay
in two excerpts from my travel memoir Bright
Sun, Strong Tea entitled What's
in a Name? and The
Bile Green Color Wasn't the Worst of
Distances & Travel Times
km (81 miles) SE, 2 hours
km (36 miles) S, 1 hour
km (94 miles) NE, 3 hours
—by Tom Brosnahan
|Above, the waterfront
drive in İskenderun.
building, now the provincial governorate building.