Demre

Overview

Introduction

If you think Santa Claus comes from the North Pole, think again: The original St. Nicholas was bishop of Demre, Turkey (340 mi/550 km south of Istanbul and today also known as Kale) in the fourth century.

He was buried under the beautiful mosaic floor of the Church of St. Nicholas (most of his bones were smuggled to Italy centuries ago; a few remain in the Antalya Archaeological Museum).

Near Demre are a Roman theater and some rock tombs of the Lycians. Demre makes a good excursion from either Kas or Kalkan.

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