Nature and History
Myra, which is surrounded by high mountain ranges, owed its wealth to the Elmalı Valley situated to its north and to the existence of good quality timber trees. This wealth rested on the high production capacity of the region and the imperial grain silos of Andriake. If the region had not enjoyed this production capacity, neither Myra nor Andriake, where one of the three imperial grain silos was built, could have attained their splendour. It also explains the presence of Myra’s striking theatre and rock tombs that leave visitors spellbound. If ageographical location is recognised for its productivity and wealth, its patron saints will also be acknowledged and respected.
Once Apollo, the God of Light and the protector of ancient seafarers fell from grace, sailors began to espouse Saint Nicholas as their patron saint instead and refused to set sail without attaching his icon to their ship’s wheel. It was these sailors who spread the cult of Saint Nicholas and made him a worldwide phenomenon.
A few nautical miles west of Demre are Kekova Island known for its submerged ruins and the ancient settlements of Theimiussa(Üçağız) and Simena (Kale) nearby. These are among the sites that must be seen by local and foreign tourists.