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The Turquoise Coast Sights

St. Nicholas Basilica

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Updated 11/21/2013

Fodor's Review

The grave of Myra's famous 4th-century bishop—St. Nicholas (aka Santa Claus)—quickly became a pilgrimage site. A church was built around his tomb in the 6th century but later destroyed in an Arab raid. In 1043, St. Nicholas Basilica was rebuilt with the aid of the Byzantine emperor Constantine IX and the empress Zoë; it was, in turn, heavily restored in the 19th century courtesy of Russian noblemen. It's difficult to distinguish between parts of original church and

the restorations, although the bell tower and upper story are clearly late additions. The reputed sarcophagus of St Nicholas is in the southernmost aisle; however, his remains were stolen and taken to Bari, Italy, in 1087, where the church of San Nicola di Bari was built to house them. A few bones remained, so the story goes, and these can be seen in the Antalya Museum. A service is (theoretically, at least) held in the church every year on December 6, the feast day of St. Nicholas.

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Sight Information


Near the center of Demre, a few blocks from the main square, Demre, Turkey

Sight Details:

  • 15 TL
  • Daily 9–7 (winter 8:30–5:30)

Updated 11/21/2013


What's Nearby

  • Restaurants
  • Sights
  • Myra

    Archaeological Site/Ruins

  • Andriake

    Archaeological Site/Ruins

  • Sura

    Archaeological Site/Ruins

See all sights in The Turquoise Coast

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