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Pisidia is located in central and south of Asia Minor, on the mountainous limestone volume of Taurus. Pisidia fell in 25 BC under the direct rule of the Romans, as part of the Province of Galatia together with Pamphylia, Lycaonia and a part of Cilicia. The subordination of Pisidia to the Province of Galatia was maintained until the emperor Vespasian (72 AD).


The existence of the Holy Metropolis of Pisidia dates back to apostolic times. Pisidia was christianized by the Holy Apostle Paul, who, during his first apostolic journey, coming from Paphos in Cyprus with his companion the Holy Apostle Barnabas, disembarked in Attalia (Antalya), preached in Perge, and continued to Antioch in Pisidia. On his return, he embarked from the same port of Attalia (Acts 13-14). Saint Paul’s sermon in the Jewish synagogue of Antioch of Pisidia caused a great stir among the citizens, but the ensuing conflict with the Jews led to the expulsion of the two Christian missionaries from the city. They returned later and appointed elders for the Christian community there. Saint Paul also visited the region in both his second and third journeys. Paul’s «persecutions and sufferings» at Antioch are spoken of in 2 Timothy 3:11. In his Epistle to the Galatians, Saint Paul is also addressing the Christians of Pisidia who were characterized as «Galatians».


The see of the holy metropolis of Pisidia was Antioch of Pisidia, a city at the crossroads of the Mediterranean, Aegean and Central Anatolian regions, and formerly on the border of Pisidia and Phrygia. The site lies approximately 1 km northeast of Yalvaç, the modern town of Isparta Province. Amid the remains of ancient Antioch, beneath a ruined Byzantine church, which claims to mark the location of Paul’s synagogue sermon, archaeologists have uncovered a first-century building that may have been that synagogue. As capital of the Roman province of Pisidia, Antioch was a metropolitan see. Many bishops of the Metropolis of Pisidia participated in the Ecumenical Councils.


The Arab raids from the sea and land weakened the empire and cities were damaged by these raids, and they began to be abandoned. The fiercest attack of all against Antioch was conducted in 713. Antioch never recovered and centuries of glory vanished. After Antioch was visited by crusaders, and in the 11th century, the Seljuk Turks, who captured the area. On 11 September 1176, the armies of the Byzantine Empire and the Seljuk Sultanate met at Myriokephalon (thousand heads). Its exact location is unknown, but it is widely accepted that it was somewhere near Yalvaç. The Turks settled in the valley instead of on the acropolis. They did not change the names of most of the captured cities, but the name of Antioch was forgotten and, with no Christians left in the region, they named it «Yalvaç» which means «Prophet», perhaps a reference to Saint Paul.


After the decline of the city of Antioch of Pisidia, the episcopal see was transferred to Sparta (Isparta), which used to be a suffragan bishopric of the Metropolis of Antioch of Pisidia, which began to be simply called “Metropolis of Pisidia” from the 14th century. 


Sidé, located on the coast of Pamphylia, an ancient province of the southwestern Asia Minor, was founded in the 7th century BC by Greek settlers. As capital of the Roman province of Pamphylia Prima, Sidé was ecclesiastically the metropolitan see. The earliest known bishop was Epidaurus, presiding at the Synod of Ancyra in 314. The Notitiae Episcopatuum continued to mention Sidé as a metropolis of Pamphylia until the 13th century. Many of its bishops participated in the Ecumenical Councils.


Perge was founded around 1050-1000 BC. BC, 16 km inland to avoid pirate incursions, on both banks of the Aksu (Kestros) River in the Taurus region. In early Christianity, Perge is mentioned as an important see of Christianity. It remained so until the 6th century. Faced with Arab incursions in the 7th century, the city gradually emptied of its inhabitants and was abandoned. The Notitiae episcopatuum mentions the city as metropolis of Pamphylia Secunda until the 13th century. Many of its bishops also participated in the Ecumenical Councils. St. Matrona of Perge of the 6th century was a female saint known for temporarily cross-dressing to avoid her abusive husband. She was famous for her miraculous gift of healing. She went on to found a famous female monastery in Constantinople and died at the age of 100.


Attalia (Antalya) was founded in 158 BC by King Attalus II of Pergamon, from whom it got its name. It is a coastal city, on the southern coast of Asia Minor, and from ancient times until today, it continues to be one of the most important ports in the region. The Christian Byzantine basilica, known today as the Kesik Minare Mosque, is a 5th-century Christian church dedicated to the Panagia (Mother of God), which was decorated with finely carved marble. Attalia was a major city of the Byzantine Empire. The city and the surrounding region were conquered by the Seljuk Turks in the early 13th century.

After the 14th century, the metropolitan sees of Sidé and Perge-Attalia in Pamphylia were attached to the Metropolis of Pisidia. Since then, the Metropolitan of Pisidia bears the title of Exarch of Sidé and Antalya. From 1661, Antalya also began to be used as a second see of the Metropolis of Pisidia. In fact, it was customary for the metropolitan to reside in Sparta in the summer and in Antalya in the winter. During the 19th century, the island of Kastellorizo (Greece), and the cities of Makri (Fethiye), Livissi (Kayaköy), Antiphelos (Kaş) and Myra (Demre), belonged to the jurisdiction of the Metropolis of Pisidia. Since the exchange of populations of 1924, the Metropolis ceased to exist, and the title of Metropolitan of Pisidia was given honorifically to bishops of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The pastoral and liturgical life of the Metropolis was restored in 2008 by Sotirios Trambas (1929-2022) who resigned voluntarily as Metropolitan of Korea and was elected Metropolitan of Pisidia by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

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