Church of St Nicholas—Aya Nicola Kilisesi

Demre (Myra) Turkey


Following Nicholas' death many pilgrims came to visit his tomb and a new large church was built in AD 520. The town and church were destroyed by 7th and 9th century invaders. The church was restored in the 11th century. Over time sand and silt from the shifting riverbed covered the church. Excavation and restoration was carried out by Russians in the mid-19th century, though it was reburied by 1903. Restoration was begun by the Antalya Museum and Ankara University in 1989. Even though the property belongs to the Greek Orthodox Church, even a service on the Feast of Saint Nicholas is not always allowed. Demre now calls the church a museum.

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