Myra Ruins

Myra was once the capital of the Lycian Union along Turkey's Mediterranean coast. The remaining ruins are a mile from present-day Demre. It's also one of the towns along the Lycian Way, Turkey's famous long distance hiking trail between Fethiye and Antalya. The earliest recordings that mention Myra are from the 1st century BC, although an outer defensive wall has been dated from the 5th century BC.

The Greco-Roman amphitheater in Myra is the largest in the Lycia region. It has been well-preserved, and you can even see an inscription that notes where an ancient concessions stall once stood. It has 38 rows of seats and walls decorated with theater masks and other scenes.

Ancient tombs are cut into rock cliffs here. Most are from the 4th century and have reliefs on them depicting funeral scenes and scenes from daily life. Though the tombs appear plain today, as late as the mid-1800s they were covered in bright red, yellow and blue paint.

Myra was the home of Saint Nicholas, a bishop who was the inspiration for Santa Claus. His church is located here, and it has been rebuilt and renovated several times. You can also visit his tomb, although his remains were stolen and brought to Italy in 1087 AD.

Practical Info

The Myra ruins are best visited from Demre, which is 90 miles from both Antalya and Fethiye. Buses run along the coast from both Antalya and Fethiye, and the closest airports are Antalya and Dalaman.
Location
Adresse: Alakent Mah., Demre, Turkey, Türkei
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