Myra Ancient City – Antalya
Myra Ancient City – Antalya . The ancient city of Myra, located in today’s Demre district center and its vicinity, was established on the plain of the same name. The city’s connection to the sea was provided by the channel that is accessible to the west of the Myros River (Demre Stream).
Sea transportation and trade of the region was also carried out from Andriake (Çayağzı) Port, located on the other side of the channel. The
Ancient City of Myra is especially famous for the Lycian Period rock tombs, the Roman Period theater and the Church of St. Nicholas (By Santa Claus) by the Byzantine Period.
Rock tombs, Lycian inscriptions and coins, Myra at least in BC. They show that it has existed since the 5th century. According to the information provided by Strabon, Myra, which is one of the six major cities of the Lycian League, is called as Myrrh in the Lycian inscriptions.
The 2nd century is the period when Myra
The 2nd century is the period when Myra witnessed a great development. In the city, which is the Metropolis of the Lycian Union, many buildings were built and repaired with the help of Lycian rich people. In the Byzantine Period, Myra became one of the leading cities in terms of administration as well as religion.
The fame that has survived to the present day, St. Nicholas (Santa Claus) AD. He owes the city’s bishop in the 4th century, and after his death, to reach the level of saints and to build a church in his name.
Since the 7th century
Since the 7th century, Myra lost its importance due to the earthquake, flood and the alluviums brought by the Demre Stream and the Arabian raids and turned into a village identity in the 12th century.
The ruins of today are the theater on the southern skirt of the acropolis and the rock tombs on both sides. According to the researches, it is possible to see the remains of the Hellenistic and even the fifth century BC fortification in and around the acropolis outside the walls of the Roman Period, which are quite intact today.
The theater, located on the southern skirt of the acropolis
The theater, located on the southern skirt of the acropolis, reflects the characteristics of a well-preserved Roman Period theater, both with rows of seats and the stage building. The stage building is standing until half of the second floor. There are embossed or flat rock tombs on both sides of the theater.
One of the most interesting examples is the embossed tomb, which depicts the dead and its relatives, among the Myra tombs, which are the best adapted examples of the wooden house architecture of the Lycians. Also, many rock tombs with reliefs or inscriptions are lined up or side by side on the south facing side of the rock. While going to the city center near the theater, the ruins of the baths on the left of the road are the early and interesting examples of Roman Period brick architecture.
The water requirement of the city was met with rock-cut canals on the edge of the valley where Demre Stream flows. Myra, which is one of the six cities with three voting rights in the Lycian Confederation, shows how important it is to be named as the “brightest city”. It is also important that Myra was represented in the form of Kybele, the oldest goddess of Anatolia, the main goddess of the city, in the coins printed under her name alongside the coins belonging to the Lycian Confederation
Myra, the capital of the Lycian province in the 5th century, was founded in St. Petersburg. The fact that Paul and his friends visited was also of special importance in Christianity.