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KALE (Demre, Myra)
Well known for being the hometown of Santa Claus, Kale is an important faith tourism spot in Antalya.

History: The foundation date of Myra is not known exactly. However, the archaeological data, obtained from the researches in the grave reliefs with regard to style, indicates that the city has existed in the 5th century before Hellenistic Period. The city experienced its golden period during the 2nd century AD. Myra, completely destroyed by the earthquake in 141 AD., was rebuilt by the charities of the rich Opromaos from Radiopolis and Lucius Magnun, Roman Proconsul. Artemis Eleutera Sacred Place in the city was also rebuilt. Having been renovated in this period, the theatre with its ornaments was characterised as a wonder of the world in the Late Antique Period. Some of the numerous masks ornamenting this stage building are exhibited in the Demre Museum and some in the Antalya Museum. During the reign of Theodosius II (408-450 AD.), the city became the Metropolitan of the Lycians. In this period, the reputation of the city as the centre of pilgrimage where diseases having been cured spread not only in Lycia but also throughout the Christian World. The reason for this is that Santa Claus (St. Nicholas) has lived here in Myra in this period.

Climate: Summers are hot and dry, winters mild and rainy.

Where to Visit

The Church of St. Nicholas: Patara-born St. Nicholas lived in the middle of the 5th century AD. He became famous with his charitable personality and miraculous ability to cure people’s diseases. While being just a priest at the beginning, because of his fame he was declared as a Saint later. His church was also turned into a centre of pilgrimage. The main component of today’s church is the structure of the church belongs to the 5th century AD. Which of the tombs found in the church belong to St. Nicholas is still a matter in debate. Every year ‘Santa Claus and Invitation to the World Peace’ activities are held in the Church of St. Nicholas on the 6th of December, decease date of Santa Claus.

Andriake: After planning the Parthian War, Trajan came to stay in Myra and indicated the need for a port to be built in the south of the city, but this was realised in the period of Hadrian. The city, to a great extent, was at the foot of the hill in the south of the port. The necropolis and the other remains of the city are in the north side of the port entrance, very near to today’s Demre. Aqueducts, Nymphaeum, Agora and cistern are among the remains. Famous Granarium (silo) takes place in the west of the Agora.

Myra: This ancient city is next to the Demre Brook. It at the foot of the mount, north of the Church of St. Nicholas. In Myra, there are Rock Tombs and a well preserved theatre.

Demre: Demre is a place where the sea unites with green. Çayağzı, Kömürlü and Sülüklü are the beaches for swimming in Demre.

Don't Leave Without
Visiting the ancient cities of Myra and Andrake, and the Church of St.Nicholas.
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