ST NICHOLAS CHURCH
St. Nicholas Church
This ancient Byzantine Church is located in the modern-day town of Demre. Which in ancient times the town was known by the name of Myra. The most notable thing about this church is that it is the burial place of St. Nicholas of Myra in the fourth century. But he is a prominent religious figure known as Santa Claus. The history of this church and the life of St Nicholas is somewhat hard to piece together. St Nicholas was buried around 350 AD. Then the church was built over his tomb over the foundations of an older Christian Church where he had served as a bishop. Around 529 AD after an earthquake and raids from Arabs in the area, the church was in the state of disrepair. Then in 1087 a group of Italian merchants came through and stole all of St. Nicholas relics and are now buried in Bari, Italy.
The church is also regarded as one of the most important Byzantine structures in Anatolia. It is also an important stop on the pilgrimage route for many Christians around the world. It has well-preserved wall frescos; one can look at the northeast annexe arcade for the only example of St Nichola’s life cycle.
If you are a history buff looking to explore more ancient city, take a closer look at ruins and imagine the past glory you might want to visit Andriake Ancient City, Arykanda Ancient City and Olympos Ancient City.