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Tarsus is a Turkish city best known as the birthplace of Paul the Apostle.
Tarsus was the most important commercial port in the province of Cilicia beginning in 2300 BC. A few decades before Christ, the Romans granted Tarsus the status of a free city with the privileges such a title entailed. Mark Antony and Cleopatra lived in Tarsus in the 1st century BC.
The Apostle Paul was born in Tarsus and seemed to be proud of his birthplace. As he was being arrested in Jerusalem, Saint Paul told the tribune: "I am a Jew and a citizen of the well-known city of Tarsus in Cilicia."
Today there are few sites of interest to visitors in Tarsus, but one is the traditional home of Paul. The site is a pilgrimage destination for some and the water from St. Paul's Well (shown in the photo) is believed to have healing powers.
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