Sri Lanka Brodcasting Corporation

Mon10232017

Last updateMon, 23 Oct 2017 8am

World News

Has the original Jolly Old Saint Nicholas been found in "Turkey"?

Turkish archaeologists believe they have found the tomb of the original Santa Claus, otherwise known as Saint Nicholas. An intact tomb has been found underneath Saint Nicholas Church, in the Demre district of Turkey's south-west province of Antalya. Demre was built on the ruins of Myra, where Saint Nicholas was thought to have lived in the 4th Century. Until now, the bones of Saint Nicholas were believed to be in Bari, Italy. It had been thought they were taken by Italian merchants in 1087, when Myra, at the time a Greek town, was invaded by the Seljuk Turks. During a study of old documents, notes had been found saying that the bones that had been taken to Bari, were that of another priest. The church of Saint Nicholas in Demre, is a popular destination for pilgrims, as the site of Saint Nicholas's final resting place and archaeological excavations have been taking place there for 20 years. Saint Nicholas's kindness became legendary over the centuries and he was popularised as "Father Christmas". The Dutch took their version "Sinterklaas", when they settled in America, where he became the "Santa Claus" many of us know today.

Local News