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st Nicholas museum demre turkey

This statue of Santa Claus in Demre, Turkey stands in front of the deceptively modern-looking Saint Nicholas Church. It is in this small western Turkish town (at the time in a province of the Roman Empire) where the man the legend is based on was born and lived around 300 A.D. There are many stories surrounding the legend of St. Nicholas and much has been written about how Santa came to be in the 1800s.

With such an interesting history it’s a shame that the museum the church has been converted into doesn’t cover much of it at all. While it’s fun to stroll down the hallways and see Santa’s backyard, the Lycian ruins of Myra 2 kilometers down the road are much more impressive for the same price of 10 Turkish Lira.

For free however, you can take a virtual saunter through Santa’s home in my gallery.