St. Nicholas Burial
This is how the world knows Santa.
also known as Olentzero,
The modern figure of Santa is based on the stories and folklore surrounding St. Nicholas, the English figure of Father Christmas, and the Dutch Sinterklaas.
Many believe that Saint Nicholas was born around the year 280 in Patara, near Myra in present-day Turkey. Those of that time admired his kindness and piety.
There are stories that he donated all his wealth to help the poor and sick. Saint Nicholas became very popular for his benevolent nature. In fact, the reason to celebrate the 6th of December as San Nicolas Day.
Over the years, many have believed that he was not Santa Claus, but only the inspiration behind the character. But did it really exist?
Well, some archaeologists may now be able to answer this question after making a significant discovery in Turkey.
According to reports, a group of experts believe they have found the real tomb of St. Nicholas, under the floor of a Turkish church.
It has long been believed that Saint Nicholas was buried in his hometown of Myra. Research suggests that he was buried in a 4th century BC church in the Turkish province of Antalya. But since his remains were stolen some 700 years after his death, the exact location of his burial remains a mystery.
The church in Myra was renamed Demre in 2015. In 2017, a team of researchers discovered that the church was built on the foundations of an older Christian church where Saint Nicholas served as bishop.
That’s not all. The team found unique mosaic and stone floors that were of the same design as the previous sanctuary.
As a result of this discovery, scientists believed that the tomb of St. Nicholas was submerged due to the rise of the Mediterranean sea level in the Middle Ages.
“When the floor slab installed in the 1970s was removed where it was, an excavation was carried out to find out what was underneath. The result was the floor covering of the church from the beginning of the 4th century”, they explained. Prof. Osman, Chairman of Antalya Regional Council for Cultural Heritage Preservation.
“The first church was submerged by the rise of the Mediterranean Sea, and a few centuries later, a new church was built on top of it,” Osman Eravsar, head of Antalya’s provincial cultural heritage preservation committee, told Demiro’s Haber Ajansi Turkish news agency.
This year, Eravsar made an even bigger announcement: the discovery of the location of Saint Nicholas’ tomb.
The expert said the tomb was found at the base of a mural of Jesus Christ.
“Now we have reached the remains of the first church and the floor where Saint Nicholas stepped,” said Eravsar.