Children everywhere know the historic fourth century saint as the man who comes down their chimney every Christmas night to bring them presents and gifts.
Saint Nicholas’ modern day moniker actually came from the Dutch folk figure, Sinterklaas, which eventually became Santa Claus. The real Saint Nicholas is renowned among the Faithful, and is known for his legendary habit of secret gift giving.
After his death in December of 343, his body was buried in his birth city of Myra and was a popular pilgrimage spot afterwards.
However, his alleged tomb was not found until 2017 when a team of archeologists discovered a crypt 5 feet beneath the floor of the Saint Nicholas Church in now-Demre, Turkey.
Osman Eravsar, head of the provincial cultural heritage preservation board in Antalya, said its likely an earthquake shifted the tomb the underground and made it undetectable without modern techniques.
“The first church was submerged with the rise of the Mediterranean Sea, and some centuries later, a new church was built above. Now we have reached the remains of the first church and the floor on which Saint Nicholas stepped.
The tiling of the floor of the first church, on which Saint Nicholas walked, has been unearthed. There is a grave and it seems more magnificent, more special, than the ones in the church. Other priests’ graves were at the corners but this holy one is in the middle. This is a mystery since, although there was an earthquake, these walls look undamaged.”
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