12.15.2008

The Theatre in Myra

Before he re-branded himself as Father Christmas, St. Nicholas was Bishop of Myra in Lycia (south-western Turkey). There is a large church of St. Nicholas in the modern city, but it's largely late Byzantine rebuilt in the 19th century, so post-dates the live of St. Nicholas (d. 349) - it's also slightly disconcerting visiting in the summer, and seeing the place covered in 'Christmas' decorations ....
Myra became the capital of Lycia during the 5th century under Theodosius II, and it's theatre continued to be used by Christians during the Byzantine period, so I feel confident stating that St. Nicholas almost certainly visited it.
In honor of the festive season I'm posting a series of photos of Myra theatre, beginning with Lycian tombs cut into the hillside above the seating.

















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