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Lystra was a city in what is now modern Turkeymarker. It is mentioned six times in the New Testament of the Bible and was visited a few times by the Apostle Paul, along with Barnabas or Silas.


Lystra is located south of the city of Konyamarker. It is north of the village of Hatunsaray and north of a small town called Akoren, . A small museum within the village of Hatunsaray displays artifacts from ancient Lystra.

Lystra is the ancient name of the village where Apostle Paul visited. The present name is "Gökyurt" which is a village of the Meram district of Konyamarker. There are ancient ruins such as a church with a big cross marked on the wall, a winery, house-like buildings and ruins of a city located over the top of a hill which is locally called "Alusumas" where another church ruin exists. According to locals, the hidden city was constructed over the hill to hide from enemies of ancient Anatolia. This site is still awaiting excavation.

Lystra is located on the ancient Persian Royal Road.


The Roman Empire made Lystra a colony in 6 BC, possibly to gain better control of the tribes in the mountains to the west. Later, it was incorporated into the Roman province of Galatia and soon after, the Romans built a road connecting Lystra to Iconiummarker in the north.

St. Paul visited here in 48 AD and again in 51 AD on his first and second missionary journeys.

In Christian times Lystra had a bishop, and it is still a Roman Catholic titular see.

Paul's visit

Paul preached the gospel in Lystra after persecution drove him from Iconiummarker. Here Paul healed a man lame from birth. The man leaped up and began to walk and thus so impressed the crowd that they took him for Hermes, because he was the "chief speaker," and his companion Barnabas for Zeus. The crowd spoke in the local Lycaonian language and wanted to offer sacrifices to them, but Paul and Barnabas tore their clothes and shouted that they were merely men. They used this opportunity to tell the Lystrans of the Creator God. Soon, however, through the influence of the Jewish leaders from Antioch, Pisidiamarker and Iconium, they stoned Paul and left him for dead. As the disciples gathered around him, Paul stood on his feet and went back into the town. The next day, he and Barnabas left for Derbemarker; but on the return part of their journey, they stopped once more at Lystra, encouraging the disciples there to steadfastness.

Paul visited this city again on his second missionary tour. Timothy, a young disciple there, was likely among those who on the previous occasion at Lystra witnessed Paul's persecution and courage. Timothy left Lystra to become the companion of Paul and Silas on the rest of the Second Missionary Journey. It is also possible that Paul revisited Lystra near the beginning of his Third Missionary Journey.

Unlike other cities Paul visited, Lystra apparently had no synagogue, though Timothy and his mother and grandmother were Jewish . Perhaps for the first time in his missionary work, Paul was reaching Gentiles with the gospel of Christ without approaching them through the common ground of Judaism.


  1. [1]
  2. [2]
  3. Acts 14:2-7
  4. Acts 14:8
  5. Acts 14:13
  6. Acts 14:19
  7. Acts 16:1
  8. 2 Tim. 3:10, 11
  9. Acts 19:1
  10. 2 Tim. 1:5; 3:15

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