The Cave of St. Paul

Around 1900, the cave in the foothills of Mount Bülbül at a height of 100 m. to the North of the Temple of Serapeion was found by O. Benndorf. The cave of St. Paul was made by being roughly carved into the bedrock; producing an approximately 15m. long aisle and a slightly larger chamber. Today the chamber, whose floors have been flattened and joined by steps, can be entered from the aisle decorated with reused materials. There are two niches of different sizes on the landing on the southern side of the aisle. The larger niche on the right side of the entrance reached the ground; but was only roughly and irregularly carved. The arches and aisle walls were covered in many layers of plaster. There was an antique panel carrying carvings of various prayers beneath the 20th century plaster of the uppermost layer. On this panel are invocations to St. Paul and ”God, please help your disciple Timotheos!” During the conservation and restoration work in 1998 the murals depicting stories from the life of St. Paul and St. Thekla were found.