How would you like to discover Demre, the hidden beauty of Antalya, one of the most preferred holiday destinations both in our country and in the world, with its vast sea, historical buildings and cultural beauties?
Demre, a Lycian city, BC. It is estimated that it was founded in the 5th century. Demre, which has a deep-rooted history, was used as a port city at that time due to its coastline to the Mediterranean. Developed and enriched due to its use as a port city, Demre was preferred as a religious and administrative center during the Byzantine period.
The bishopric of St. Nicholas in Demre at the beginning of the 4th century made this region the center of the diocese. Demre, which has attracted the attention of the Christian world, has been hosting Santa Claus events on December 6 since then. This tradition continues today as well.
Demre, which has a high historical value due to being home to many different civilizations, is one of the places you should definitely go when you visit Antalya. I don't want to leave Antalya without seeing this history, but if you are asking how to get to Demre, you can join the tours organized to Demre or go with your personal vehicle.
The distance between Demre and Kemer, which is extremely close to the Kemer district of Antalya, is 99 km. You can reach Demre in an average of one and a half hours with your personal vehicle.
Myra Ancient City and Theater
Myra, which is one of the first places to visit in Antalya, is an important ancient city because its history dates back to the Lycian and Roman periods. There are city walls, baths, necropolis, acropolis, streets, statues and busts built in the Roman period in the ancient city of Myra.
While visiting the ancient city of Myra, which is located in an area close to the center of Demre, you can see architectural works of different civilizations together. Thanks to the ancient city of Myra, which offers you a historical feast, you can also have information about the Lycian culture.
After your tour of the ancient city of Myra, you can take a short trip to the past by visiting the Myra ancient theater, which was used both as an arena and a stage during the Roman period. Ancient theater M.S. Even though it was destroyed by an earthquake in 141, the theater was repaired by the Romans and has survived to the present day. You can be fascinated by its beauty while visiting the ancient theater of Myra, which was considered one of the most magnificent theaters of that period.
Lycian Rock Tombs
Since the Lycians believed in life after death, they left various items in the graves of their loved ones so that they could use them in their other lives. In addition, flamboyant tombs were built as a sign of the power and splendor of the deceased. The soft limestone rocks of Demre also allowed the Lycians to build these imposing tombs.
The rock tombs, which were built with an advanced stonemasonry, have a magnificent appearance that amazes those who see it even today. While creating an Antalya travel route, you may not be able to take your eyes off the mythological figure reliefs in the Lycian rock tombs, which is a place you should add to the list of places to visit in Demre.
Sunken City: Kekova
M.S. The city of Kekova, which was destroyed by an earthquake in the 2nd century, was one of the commercial centers of Lycia in ancient times. There are buildings and shops in the sunken city that have survived to the present day. You can also see many Lycian sarcophagi in the underwater part of Kekova during the boat tour.
It is forbidden to swim and dive in Kekova, which hosts hundreds of thousands of tourists due to its sunken city and the cleanest waters of the Mediterranean coast. However, you can explore the sunken city, which will give you goosebumps with its historical texture, by taking a boat tour.
Church of St. Nicholas (Santa Claus)
Another place you should add to your list of places to visit in Antalya is the Church of St. Nicholas (Santa Claus). M.S. St. Nicholas, who was bishop of Demre in the 4th century, was one of the leading figures of the Orthodox church. At that time, he was nicknamed the miracle worker because he helped children and the poor and performed various miracles.
Saint Nicholas, famous for his miracles, began to be called Santa Claus after 1823. After the death of St. Nicholas, the church built on the area where he was bishop was named St. Nicholas (Santa Claus).
During the construction of the St. Nicholas (Santa Claus) Church, people painted the miracles believed to have been performed by St. Nicholas on the walls. While visiting the church, you can see these pictures more closely and witness the miracles.