Turkish experts claim that they have found the lost tomb of Saint Nicholas also known as Santa Claus under the ruins of a 4th Century church in the Demre district, formerly known as Myra, where the beloved saint was born.
The findings debunks previous believes that the Saint’s remains were ferried to Europe to escape desecration. The Antalya’s Monument Authority announced that the grave was spotted during electronic mapping of the church, which revealed some strange gaps beneath it.
Archaeologists told the press that the tomb was not damaged but it is hard to gain access to it as the floor is paved with valuable mosaics. Experts will have to remove the mosaics one tile at a time and preserve the original images in a mold.
Christianity largely believes that the relics of one of its most beloved Saints were taken to Italy or even Ireland during the Crusades. Christian historians think that Saint Nicholas’ remains were left undisturbed only between his death, in 343 A.D., and the 11th Century.
Saint Nicholas’ Resting Place May Not Be in Italy
It is widely believed that the Saint’s final resting place is in Bari, Italy. There’s also the theory that the relics may lie in an ancient churchyard in Ireland. Most Orthodox and Catholic Christians are confident that they can find the Saint’s earthly remains at the Basilica di San Nicola (Saint Nicholas’ Church) in Bari, Italy.
The Turks, however, claim that Christians were wrong all along and that the bones in the said church belong to an unnamed priest that European knights took for Saint Nichols. Turkish experts said they got help from colleagues specialized in eight fields of study.
In the Western world, the fourth-century bishop saint is known as Santa Claus. In the 16th Century, Saint Nicholas becomes for the first time “Father Christmas”. In the U.S., he was popularized by the Dutch immigrants who called him “Sinterklaas”.
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