The Turquoise Coast : Places to Explore

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Demre (Kale)

Demre is where Saint Nicholas, who later became known as Father Christmas, made his reputation as bishop of the Graeco-Roman diocese of Myra in the first half of the 4th century. Among his good deeds, St. Nicholas is said to have carried out nocturnal visits to the houses of local children to leave gifts, including gold coins as dowries for poor village girls; if a window was closed, said the storytellers, he would drop the gifts down the chimney.

Demre was one of the most important cities along the coast but its remains lie mostly under the concrete and large greenhouses of the modern city between the city center around the Church of St. Nicholas and the hillside to the north, where there is a theater and some rock cut tombs. Demre is, however, primarily an agricultural region, for most tourists a quick stopover on their trip along the coast.

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