Saint Nick’s Tomb

Have you ever been asked, “Do you still believe in Santa Claus? Father Christmas? Papa Noel? Kris Kringle? Saint Nick?” We all know by now that Santa Clause isn’t real. Just a made-up story told to children so they can believe in the magic and joy of Christmas, right? Wrong! Although he might not live in the North Pole, making toys for every little girl and boy with the help of an army of pointy-eared elves, Santa Clause, or Saint Nicholas, was very real.

Saint Nicholas was born circa 280 in Patara, Lycia, which is now part of present-day Turkey. He later became a Christian bishop in Myra. He was renowned for his kindness and charity. One of the most popular stories about him was the one where he used his wealth to save three sisters from being sold into slavery by paying their wedding doweries. He was thought to have died on December 6, 343 after a lifetime of giving. After he died, Holland and the Netherlands continued to celebrate Saint Nicholas on December 6. Immigrants from the Netherlands introduced Sinterklaas- as he was known to them- to America in the 1700s, where he was turned into the jolly old man we know him as today.

Even though Saint Nicholas is gone, his legacy still lives on. Archaeologists say they may have found the tomb of Santa Clause. You might be wondering how it would be so hard to track down the bones of this beloved man. Surely his remains were taken care of. In 1071, Muslim Seljuq Turks sought to take control of the region. Some Christians set out to retrieve the saint’s body to bring him into Christian Territory. Sixteen years later his corpse was stolen by Italian sailors and transported to Italy. His bones were believed to be there until archaeologists performed a digital analysis of Saint Nicholas namesake church and a subterranean tomb was revealed.

Getting there was quite a challenge, as the floor of the centuries-old church was covered in beautiful mosaics depicting the life of the saint. When they were finally able to get into the ancient crypt, archaeologists were surprised to find that it was still intact. Much to everyone’s disappointment, they did not find the missing bones of Saint Nicholas, but they did find historic documents that suggested the tomb belonged to an anonymous priest.

They are still excavating the site in hopes of finally unearthing the mysterious remains of Saint Nicholas. Sema Dogan- the professor leading the dig- said that the result of finally finding the elusive bones of the esteemed saint could bring more tourism to Turkey. Another act of generosity from the famous Saint Nicholas.

 

“Saint Nicholas.” Biography. N. p., 2019. Web. 5 Dec. 2019.

“Archaeologists Might Have Found The Tomb Of Santa Claus.” HISTORY. N. p., 2019. Web. 5 Dec. 2019.