Myra Ancient City Excavations Prof. Dr. Nevzat Çevik stated that Santa Claus, who is believed to be giving gifts to children by entering the houses through the chimney on New Year’s Eve, is a real person who lived and said: “Originally from Antalya, St. Nikholaos is from Demre. He was
born, grew up and died in Antalya. His tomb is also in Antalya.”
St. Nicholas (St.Nikholaos), who was born in Patara in Antalya’s Kaş district and lived in Myra in Demre district, is the head of Myra-Ancient City Excavation, Professor Dr. Nevzat Çevik told. Prof. Dr. Çevik noted that in the drawings on the frescoes on the Santa Claus Memorial Museum walls, there is a picture of the real Santa Claus, St. Nikholaos.
Stating that Santa Claus has become a phenomenon known to everyone as a world brand, Prof. Dr. Nevzat Çevik said, “We know the true story of Santa Claus. That story begins in Patara. He is born to a local family. In his youth and mature age, he comes to Myra-Demre, establishes the church and the clergy, and lives there. Iznik also works as a consulship. “Myra is becoming a center, administrative city, a place that sees intense Byzantine and Christian settlements.”
Stating that Saint Nikholaos was born in Patara in the 270’s and died in Myra in 342, Prof. Dr. Çevik said, “When he dies, he is buried in Myra, and his grave is in his church in Myra. Today’s church is the big church built over the early church of that day. In the story of Nikholaos of Sion, the founder of Demre-Karabelli Sion Monastery in the 6th century, we also learn the life story of Nikholaos. “We see that his life story and miracles are also embroidered on the frescoes walls of the church.”