St. Nicholas was inspired by Santa Claus and his tomb was unexpectedly found beneath a church in southern Turkey.
St. Nicholas was a 4th century bishop who was known for his generosity and was also a historical inspiration for Santa Claus. After the death of 343, he was buried in a church in the ancient city of Miri. This is where the modern Turkish city of Demre stands today. This is where archeological experts now claim that they are most likely to identify the grave of the famous saint.
Cemil Karabayram, head of the Agency for Antalya Monuments, confirmed for local media that electronic observation revealed a "special department" or an interstate beneath a church where most likely the tomb of the saint was named after the church itself. "We believe the tomb is not damaged at all, but it will be very difficult to reach it just because of the mosaic on the floor." Still, it is rather optimistic about excavating the remains of the saint, but warns it will take some time for all tiles to be removed. "We'll start digging and maybe find the intact body of St. Nicholas. We invited eight different academics to work on this project. "
Professor Sema Dogan, a team leader, was surprised by this discovery and believes that it will trigger a real tourism boom for the region. It was precisely this tourist potential that triggered international experts reacting to the need for someone outside Turkey to participate in the review to ensure full authenticity.
Archaeologists work with CT scanning technology and georadists in the church. They now also intend to carefully remove the mosaics on the stone floor of the church in order to have access to a tomb where Nikolai's body could possibly be.
If hopes are right, it means that false bones lie in Italy. It has long been believed that Nikolina's bones were transferred from the church to Demreus in the 11th century in the Italian Bari. There was also a Basilica di San Nicola built to preserve the remains. The records archaeologists read, however, show that some other bones have been transported to Italy.
The church in which the burials were initially located was rebuilt in the 11th century. "If it is judged by what is said in these records, the church was demolished and then rebuilt," Karabayram said. "In the course of reconstruction, merchants from Bari have stolen bones. It was said, however, that these bones were not part of the saint but of another priest. "
There have been many stories related to St. Nikola, as well as about his pilgrimage to Palestine. There was a storm in the way, for which the ship had almost drowned, but Bishop Nikola threatened with waves, so the storm ceased. That is why he became known as the patron sailor and traveler.
After his death he was proclaimed holy, and it is well known that on December 6 he marks his day. Over time it has been popularized as Santa Claus living in Lapland and carries gifts to children, although in many Christian countries there is a clear distinction between the saint and the icon of pop culture.