St. Paul in Konya

A fter having left Yalvac and before crossing the Sultan Mountains SS. Paul and Barnabas arived at Konya by following the eastern trade route and the king's road through Ilgin-Ladik. Konya was a place in which they made many moving speeches and where they succeeded in converting many people to Christianity. The most important of these people was St. Thecla (Haghia Thecla) who was much affected by St. Paul's sermons and went on to become one of Christianity's foremost missionaries. She was the first female martyr.
Powerful as though their speeches were they managed to enrage a section of the population and divided them into two partisan groups. One group supported St. Paul whereas the other group was set against him. Even though St. Paul knew of the people who were opposed to him he remained adamant and brave and he spent a long time in Konya working to get the people to adopt the way of Jesus Christ. However when they learnt that a group against them were thinking to assault them SL Paul and St. Barnabas escaped from here going to the cities of Lystra and Derbe and succeeded in spreading the religion in these places. Sille, located 8 km to the northwest of the city of Konva, is one of the most important centres in the Early Christian period. Here can be wen the Ak Monastery (St. Chariton) with its rock-cut church, chapels and cells. It was one of the first monasteries in the world.

Church of St. Helena (Aya Elena)

Whilst on pilgrimage Helena, the mother of the Byzantine Emperor Constantine, saw the rock churches of konyaand decided to have this place of worship contructed in Sille. On the walls of the church made of cut stone can be seen pictures of Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary and the apostles