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Frescoes in the Church of St. Nicholas at Myra

Fresco in the Church of St. Nicholas at Myra

Myra is an ancient town in Lycia, where the small town of Kale (Demre) is situated today in present day Antalya Province of Turkey. Saint Nicholas of Myra lived here. We know him today as Santa Claus.



The earliest church of St. Nicholas at Myra was built in the 6th century. The present-day church was constructed mainly from the 8th century onward; a monastery was added in the second half of the 11th century.

In 1863, Tsar Alexander II of Russia purchased the building and began restoration, but the work was never finished. In 1963 the eastern and southern sides of the church were excavated. In 1968 the former confessio (tomb) of St. Nicholas was roofed over.

The floor of the church is made of opus sectile, a mosaic of coloured marble, and there are some remains of frescoes on the walls. An ancient Greek marble sarcophagus had been reused to bury the Saint.

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