Demre, The District of Antalya That Fascinates with Its Historic Fabric

Being one of the 6 major cities of Lycia and with a history dating back to the 3rd century BC, Demre was named Myra, meaning "the place of the Supreme Mother Goddess", at that period. St. Nicholas served as bishop at the beginning of the 4th century in Myra, which became an important administrative and religious center during the Byzantine period. For this reason, Myra, which was both a bishopric and an important administrative and religious center, draws a great deal of attention of the Christian world.



Ancient City of Myra

The Ancient City of Myra existed until the 5th century BC. With an important role especially in the Lycian and Roman Periods, the Ancient City of Myra is located in the Central District of Demre. This ancient city is also famous for its rock tombs and ancient theater. Another important characteristic of the ancient city of Myra is that it is one of the 6 major cities of Lycia with the right of using 3 votes. This makes the Ancient City of Myra to be considered as an important city today as much as it was in ancient times.


St. Nicholas (Santa Claus) Church

St. Nicholas Church is located in the center of Demre at a 5-minute distance from the Ancient City of Myra. Another characteristic of St. Nicholas Church is that the tomb of St. Nicholas, who is regarded as Santa Claus across the world, is also located herein. The construction of St. Nicholas Church, being also a pilgrimage destination for Orthodox Christians in this respect, started in the Byzantine Period. Despite of the fact that there are almost two thousand churches dedicated to St. Nicholas, the church located in Demre, where he was born, is the first and the most important one.


Ancient City of Andriake and Museum of Lycian Civilizations

The Ancient City of Andriake is a city with similar characteristics to that of the City of Myra. Because, it is one of the most important port cities of Lycian Civilizations, just like Myra. The Ancient City of Andriake is a coastal city that is located 6 kilometers from Demre. Many of the ruins belonging to this city are on display in the Museum of Lycian Civilizations. However, there are also ruins outside the museum, and you can see many tomb, sarcophagi or wall city ruins herein.


Bird's Paradise of Andriake

The Bird's Paradise of Andriake Bird is among the must-visit spots in Demre, and it is home to 149 different bird species in the wetland located between the Road of Cayagzi Port and the Museum of Lycian Civilizations. The species you can see in the Bird's Paradise, located only a few kilometers from Demre, include wild duck, Eurasian coot and cormorant. The Bird's Paradise of Andriake is visited by many local and foreign bird watchers every year.


Ancient City of Soura (Sura)

The Ancient City of Soura (Sura) is known to be one of the Lycian Civilizations with the right of using 2 votes. This ancient city is located in the Village of Sura at a distance of 6 kilometers from Demre. There are ruins of Temple of Apollo, acropolis, sarcophagi and rock tombs in the Ancient City of Soura (Sura), which was regarded as the "prophecy" center of the Lycian League in the ancient time. The monumental tomb, located in the Ancient City of Soura (Sura) and having a sarcophagus top, is the largest sarcophagus in Lycia.


Ancient City of Simena (Kalekoy)

The history of the Ancient City of Simena, which is a pretty tourist town known as Kalekoy today, dates back to the 4th century BC. The Ancient City of Simena, a small Lycian city, can be reached by a 10-minute walk towards the sea in Kalekoy or by boat. The Ancient City of Simena is famous for the castle and sarcophagus tombs to which it is home. The ruins that can be seen include a small theater and a church located on the way to the castle. The Ancient City of Simena was mainly submerged under water.


Ancient City of Ucagiz (Theimussa)

The Ancient City of Ucagiz (Theimussa) is one of the most important port cities in Lycian Period. This city is located 30-40-minutes drive from Demre. Today, there are Turkish bath, church and necropolis ruins in the ancient city that is called as the Village of Ucagiz today. Being a must-visit spot in Demre, this ancient city is located between the cities Simena, Dolichiste and Aperlai. This means that you can get to these three ancient cities within a short time and visit all of them.


Kekova Region

Fascinating every visitor with its view, Kekova Region is known as the diving paradise of Turkey. It is also the cradle of ancient civilizations. Bringing the sun of Lycia, the country of lights, to the present time, Kekova attracts attention with its cultural heritage and rich nature. The underwater treasure of Kekova makes it hosting thousands of tourists every year. Kekova is surrounded by ruins dating back to ancient times. It is also rich in marine biodiversity, culture and diving tourism.

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  • Sandra Mullins
  • 25-11-2020

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