In Antalya Demre, St. Nicholas Church is also known as the Santa Claus church. One of the most visited places in Antalya, St. Nicholas Church is located in Demre, very close to the ancient city of Myra.
St. Nicholas Church
St. Nicholas Church, holds historical and cultural significance as a pilgrimage site for both Orthodox Christians and tourists interested in the life and legacy of St. Nicholas.
St. Nicholas Church, also known as the Santa Claus church, is dedicated to St. Nicholas of Myra, a revered Christian saint known for his generosity and kindness. He is the inspiration behind the modern figure of Santa Claus.
The original church was constructed in the 4th century AD, and it has undergone several renovations and expansions over the centuries. The architecture reflects a combination of Byzantine and Roman styles. The church features a central nave with two aisles, a dome, and various decorative elements.
The church is situated in the town of Demre (formerly known as Myra) in the Antalya Province of Turkey. The location is significant because it is believed to be the burial place of St. Nicholas.
St. Nicholas Church has been a pilgrimage site for Orthodox Christians for centuries. The saint’s relics were once kept in a sarcophagus within the church. Pilgrims from various parts of the world visit the church to pay their respects and seek blessings.
Frescoes and Artwork
The interior of the church features Byzantine-era frescoes that depict scenes from the life of St. Nicholas, as well as other religious themes. These artworks provide insights into the iconography and religious beliefs of the time.
Over the years, the church has undergone restoration efforts to preserve its historical and cultural significance. These efforts have aimed to maintain the original architectural elements and protect the valuable frescoes.
Apart from its religious importance, St. Nicholas Church has also become a tourist attraction. Visitors come to admire the architecture, learn about the history of St. Nicholas, and explore the region’s rich cultural heritage.
Demre is also known for its ancient Lycian rock-cut tombs and the ruins of the ancient city of Myra. These nearby attractions add to the historical and cultural experience for visitors.
The church is open to visitors year-round. However, it’s important to note that peak tourist seasons, such as summer, can be quite crowded. It’s advisable to visit during less busy times for a more serene experience.
Occasional religious services are held at the church, particularly on St. Nicholas’ feast day, which falls on December 6th in the Orthodox Christian calendar.
St. Nicholas Church Visiting Hours
Welcoming visitors seven days a week, St. Nicholas Church is open to visitors between fixed hours in both summer and winter. You can visit between 08:00 and 20:00.