7  May 2016

KEKOVA, SANTA CLAUS CHURCH, MYRA TOUR

Go back in time

Meet with Santa Claus

Enjoy the nature in Antalya

Swim in the historical ruins

 

07:00 Meeting in front of the Tourism Faculty in Akdeniz University Campus, and acting for the tour.

 

10:00 Arrival to the Çayagzı port located west of Antalya and getting on the boat.

Total two-hour boat tour; respectively Kekova Island and Simena are seen from boat. The ancient city of Simena was located on the peninsula of the Tristomos Bay and dates back to the fourth century BC. There are gnarled olive trees, hundreds of years old, next to stone sarcophagi which are shaped like houses. Below the castle is a small seven-tiered theatre and you will see an ancient tomb submerged in the water in the harbor. Across the bay along Kekova Island are half-submerged ruins of the city sunk by earthquake in the second century AD. You will be able to see remains of stone foundations beneath your boat and on the land staircases seemingly going to nowhere, with remains of abandoned houses. There are also strangely shaped rock islands that have been hollowed out as they were used as stone quarries and later as dwellings. About half an hour swimming break at Burç Bay is given. Boat rides again to the Çayağzı and the bus started to move towards the center of Demre.

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13:30 The lunch time.

 

14:30 Santa Claus Church (St. Nicholas) is visited in Demre and then moving through Myra.

St. Nicholas: Saint Nicholas (270-343) was a historic 4th-century Christian saint and Bishop of Myra. Because of the many miracles attributed to his intercession, he is also known as������Nikolas the Wonderworker. He had a reputation for secret gift-giving, such as putting coins in the shoes of those who left them out for him, and thus became the model for Santa Claus.  His reputation evolved among the faithful, as was common for early Christian saints. In his most famous exploit, a poor man had three daughters but could not afford a proper������dowry for them. This meant that they would remain unmarried and probably, in absence of any other possible employment, would have to become prostitutes. Even if they did not, unmarried maidens in those days would have been assumed as being a prostitute. Hearing of the girls’ plight, Nicholas decided to help them, but being too modest to help the family in public (or to save them the humiliation of accepting charity), he went to the house under the cover of night and threw three purses (one for each daughter) filled with gold coins through the window opening into the house.

The earliest church of St. Nicholas at Myra was built in the 6th century. The present-day church was constructed mainly from the 8th century onward; a monastery was added in the second half of the 11th century. In 1863,��Tsar Alexander II of Russia��purchased the building and began restoration. In 1963 the eastern and southern sides of the church were excavated. In 1968 the former tomb of St. Nicholas was roofed over. An ancient Greek marble sarcophagus had been reused to bury the Saint; but his bones were stolen in 1087 by merchants from Bari, and are now held in the cathedral of that city. The church is currently undergoing restoration.

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15:30 Arrival to Myra and visit to the Roman theater &the Lycian rock tombs.

Myra: Myra is an ancient town in Lycia where the small town of Kale (Demre) is situated today in present day Antalya Province of Turkey. Myra was considered to be one of the six most important cities of the Lycian Federation the others being Xanthos, Patara, Olympos, Pinara and Tlos. The ruins of the Lycian and Roman town are mostly covered by alluvial silts. The������Acropolis on the Demre-plateau, the Roman theatre and the Roman baths has been partly excavated. There are two necropolis of Lycian rock-cut tombs in the form of temple fronts carved into the vertical faces of cliffs at Myra. During the Byzantium time Myra, was important as being an important Christianity centre. The earliest church of St. Nicholas is an example of it.

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16:30 Moving back to Antalya.

 

Acknowledgments:

  • It is a full day tour.
  • Guiding service will be included.
  • Half of the day (Kekova part) will be on the boat.
  • Please wear comfortable clothes.
  • Don’t forget to take your swim suits and sun lotion with you.