St. Nicholas Church

St. Nicholas Church is in the Gökyazı Neighborhood of the Demre district. The tomb built for St. Nicholas is also known as Santa Claus. He was born in the Ancient City of Patara and died in the Ancient City of Myra, where he served as a bishop. He is one of the most important symbols that increases the tourism potential of Demre today.
Nicholas Church was built by the people of Myra in memory of St. Nicholas. He is known as the 'Saint of Miracles' and is loved for helping the poor and distributing gifts. He is considered one of the rarest examples of the church architecture of the Middle Byzantine Period, with its decorations and architectural style.
There are many structures built at different times on the original foundations of the church, which have been open to visitors since 1994. In this way, the church gains the appearance of a complex built in different periods. The church walls were repaired over time. They are covered with paintings reflecting the miracles believed to have been performed by St. Nicholas. The Roman sarcophagus inside the church, decorated with fish scales and acanthus leaves, belongs to Santa Claus, who was in his eternal sleep.
There are various claims about the whereabouts of the stolen bones of St. Nicholas. The most common belief is that the bones were stolen by traders from the Italian city of Bari during the Crusades and placed in the basement of the Basilica of San Nicola on the southeast coast of Italy. Today, the remaining parts of the bones are exhibited in the Antalya Archeology Museum.
Every year, on December 6, an important date for Christians, many visitors from the Orthodox sect come to Demre on the occasion of the death anniversary of St. Nicholas, and a large-participation ceremony is held in the church.