Reading time is 2 mins


The church of St. Nicholas, also known as Santa Claus, located in the Demre (Myra) district of Antalya, is visited by a large number of people every year, mostly by 1 million Protestan Christian Russians to baptism the water.

I.S. the respected religious personality of St. Nicholas, who was born in Patara and served as a bishop in Myra in the second half of the 3rd century, ensured that he reached the rank of saint after he died, and became the most popular saint of many countries of Europe, especially the Tsardom of ancient Russia.

In the northern countries of Europe, the tradition of Santa Claus, the protector and joy of children, was integrated into the faith of St. Nicholas, which led to the creation of a semi-religious and very popular legendary type.

It is clear that the root of this character is taken from the very ancient beliefs of the northern countries, from the fact that Santa Claus travels on a sleigh pulled by deer in the north Pole.

However, the places where the real St. Nicholas of Myra lived were the Mediterranean sea coasts, which never saw any snow.

His protective personality, which protects children in difficult situations, has turned into a sympathetic old man who is believed to bring gifts on Christmas nights.

As St. Nicholas, especially the sailors of the Eastern Mediterranean respected him, an official or icon was hung on all small, large boats, and it was a tradition to wish that “St. Nicholas keep his helm” when going on an expedition.

The Church of St. Nicholas is an important monument of Byzantine art history, the most outstanding example of the Middle Byzantine Period with its architectural style and decoration.

I.S. in the 5th century, Myra (Demre) was the capital of the Lycian province, and the Archbishop of Myra was the second largest religious authority in Anatolia, which played a big role in increasing the prestige of the city in the years after the death of St. Nicholas.

After his death, the people of Myra built a monument and then a large basilica in the name of the Saint, and a large church was built in Istanbul in the name of the Saint during this period.

The basilica in Myra was badly damaged in the 8th century as a result of earthquakes and raids on the city, and it was rebuilt as a domed church in the 9th century.

Later additions took place in the Middle Byzantine period in the 11th century.

It is worth noting that the most important repair of this period was carried out by Emperor Alexander IX in 1042. It is known that it was made by Konstantin and his wife Zoe. Most of the wall frescoes and floor mosaics belong to this period.

Other extensive repairs of the church, which wedding been destroyed for various reasons over the centuries, were carried out in 1862 by Tsar I of Russia. It was performed by Nikolay.

The bell tower and the new central dome between with keels belonging to this repair, which have deviated quite a lot from the original plan, are the product of these works.

There are many buildings built at different times on the original foundations of today’s church.

Thus, the church has the appearance of a complex built in various periods.

In the past few years the carved marble grave inside the church were St. Nicholas rested had been broken on the side, and the bones were stolen. Now a large glass protects the grave and is only visible to it’s visitors.


Follow me
President of Organ Transplant Center at MedicalPark Hospital Antalya

Turkey's world-renowned organ transplant specialist. Dr. Demirbaş has 104 international publications and 102 national publications.

Physician's Resume:

Born on August 7, 1963 in Çorum, Prof. Dr. Alper Demirbaş has been continuing his work as the President of MedicalPark Antalya Hospital Organ Transplantation Center since 2008.

Prof. who performed the first tissue incompatible kidney transplant in Turkey, the first blood type incompatible kidney transplant, the first kidney-pancreas transplant program and the first cadaveric donor and live donor liver transplant in Antalya. Dr. As of August 2016, Alper Demirbaş has performed 4900 kidney transplants, 500 liver transplants and 95 pancreas transplants.

In addition to being the chairman of 6 national congresses, he has also been an invited speaker at 12 international and 65 national scientific congresses. Dr. Alper Demirbaş was married and the father of 1 girl and 1 boy.


Eczacibasi Medical Award of 2002, Akdeniz University Service Award of 2005, Izder Medical Man of the Year Award of 2006, BÖHAK Medical Man of the Year Award of 2007, Sabah Mediterranean Newspaper Scientist of the Year Award of 2007, ANTIKAD Scientist of the Year Award of 2009, Social Ethics Association Award of 2010, Işık University Medical Man of the Year Award of 2015, VTV Antalya's Brand Value Award of 2015.


Doctor of Medicine Degree Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine Ankara, General Surgeon Ministry of Health Turkey EKFMG (0-477-343-8), University of Miami School of Medicine Member of Multiple Organ Transplant, ASTS Multiorgan Transplant Scholarship. Lecturer at Kyoto University. Lecturer at University of Essen, Research assistant at the University of Cambridge .

Professional Members:

American Society of Transplant Surgeons, American Transplantation Society Nominated, Middle East and Southern Africa Council Transplantation Society 2007, International Liver Transplantation Association, Turkish Transplantation Association, Turkish Society of Surgery, Turkish Hepatobiliary Surgery Association.


Our website contents consist of articles approved by our Web and Medical Editorial Board with the contributions of our physicians. Our contents are prepared only for informational purposes for public benefit. Be sure to consult your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
Medically Reviewed by Professor Doctor Alper Demirbaş
Follow me
Latest posts by Medically Reviewed by Professor Doctor Alper Demirbaş (see all)