St Nicholas Church, Demre, Antalya, Turkey 

The church to honor Saint Nicholas and contain his tomb was built in AD 520 on the foundations of the older Christian church where Saint Nicholas served as bishop. Over time the river changed course and the church filled with silt and was buried (the pictures show it is fifteen-to-twenty feet below ground level). In 1862 Russian Tsar Nicholas I restored the church, adding the tower and making other changes to its Byzantine architecture. The church is regarded as the 3rd most important Byzantine structure in Anatolia. It is noted for the remarkable wall frescos, its architectural and its religious significance. The northeast annex arcade contains the only example of the Nicholas cycle in Turkey.

Epic Turkey Culture & Adventure Route © Monika Newbound

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