The theatre, the rock tombs to the left  

Myra was one of the six largest cities of the Lycian League from the 5th century BC and became the capital of Lycia under Emperor Theodosius II (401-450 AD). Myra had a magnificent temple of Artemis, which was destroyed by an earthquake in 141 AD. In 809 the city was conquered by Arab troops and lost its importance. Around 1100 AD, Myra was taken by the Seljuks and has been Islamic ever since.


The famous rock tombs of Myra  

Myra was buried under the mud of Kasaba Çayi, the Demre River, over the centuries and only explored by a German archaeologist between 1965 and 1968. The old port of the city, Andriake, has landed today. The apostle Paul changed his ship here in 59 AD on his journey to Rome. Today, the old Myra lies under extensive greenhouses for tomatoes. Worth seeing are the Lycian rock tombs and the imposing theatre from Roman times.


The famous rock tombs of Myra  

The Theatre  

The originally Greek theatre of Myra was probably built in the 1st century BC. It's leaning on a steep mountain slope. The sides of the spectator terraces with the imposing staircases and their barrel vaults were built of brickwork. After the devastating earthquake of 141 AD, the theatre of Myra also received considerable donations from the Opramoas in Rhodiapolis as well as further funds from a Jason from Kyaneai and a Licinius Langus from Oinoanda.


Barrel vault next to the spectator terraces


Numerous richly decorated fragments of a theatre frieze have been preserved.  


The Church of St. Nicholas




In Byzantine times, the city was a bishop's seat. From 309 A.D. Nicholas was the Bishop of Myra. The remains of Saint Nicholas were taken to Bari in 1087 by Italian merchants. Today the Church of Saint Nicholas, built in the 6th century, is the scene of a unique religious and cultural festival every year in December, in which people from all over the world debate the deeds of the Saint. The core of today's three-nave basilica dates back to the 8th century, when it was renovated. In the second half of the 11th century a monastery was built and the monks were entrusted with the care of the place of pilgrimage. Even after the robbery of the bones, the church remained a place of pilgrimage.


In the Church of St. Nicholas

Photos: @chim    
Translation aid:    
Source: Wikipedia and others