The Church of Saint Nicholas in Myra (Demre) (AD 520)

The basilica Church of Saint Nicholas is located in Myra (modern Demre), in Antalya province near the Mediterranean coast. It contains the empty sarcophagus of bishop Nicholas. Shaped like an Orthodox cross, the church was built around 520 on the foundations of an older church. It was restored after being damaged by Islamic Arab raids in the 600s. A walled monastery was added nearby in 1043.

In 1087, Italian merchants broke open Nicholas’ sarcophagus and took his physical remains to Bari, Italy. The church was eventually flooded and filled with silt. Russian Tsar Nicholas I restored the church in 1862, adding a tower and making other architectural changes. The church is open to the public and contains beautiful frescos, wall paintings, and murals.