About sight: St. Nicholas Church


In 300 A.D. a citizen of Patara, which ruins are near today Fethie, became a bishop of Mira. It was Nicolas, who won a big authority with people during his lifetime. After his death in 342 Nicolas was buried in the Church of Mira. Soon he was canonized as St. Nicolas the Wonder-worker. He is patron of seafarers, travelers and children. In XI century Lycia was conquered by the Arabs, and the temple was almost completely destroyed. It was just in that time that one of the priests of Barii had a vision, that relics of St. Nicolas should be relocated to their city. For the purpose an expedition was sent, and in 1087 his relics were moved to Barii where they are still stored.

Today the Church of Mira is a fairly complex structure, which was repeatedly rebuilt during its long history. It was built more than a thousand and a half years ago. The Arabs partially de-stroyed the temple, and then restored it again. Major restoration works had been done there in XIX century, when Russian tsar Nicolas I conducted talks about transfer of the temple to Russian Orthodox Church. St. Nicolas the Wonderworker is one of the most venerated saints in Russia and by the number of churches, which are dedicated to him, he takes the first place among all other saints.

As currently the temple is somehow under the ground, light can not enter it through win-dows. Because of this it is rather dark in the church. There is some light only near Altar and bishop's seat. There are several tombs within the temple. And one of them supposedly contained relics of St. Nicolas.

In the world St. Nicolas has been immortalized in the image of Santa Claus. Indeed, it is be-lieved that just he was a prototype of the old man, giving presents to children on the eve of New Year and Christmas.

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