Archaeologists state that under a church in southern Turkey they have found what is believed to be the tomb of St. Nicholas, also known as Santa Claus.
BBC News reports that according to the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet Daily News, archaeologists uncovered the final resting place of the well-known figure under the St. Nicholas church in the province of Antalya.
The tomb was found in the city of Demre, features burial grounds and a temple, and is said to be built on the ruins of the ancient city of Myra where St. Nicholas, whom the legend of Santa Claus is based upon, served as bishop.
This new development in St. Nicholas’ tomb means it could put a dent in the theory that his grave was moved to Bari, Italy 700 years after his death.
St. Nicholas church is a popular tourist spot among Christians, many of whom regard the saint as the father of their faith, according to the St. Nicholas Center.
The legend of Santa Claus came to be when it was discovered that St. Nicholas, born to a wealthy family, helped the poor and gave gifts to children. He was later seen as “Father Christmas” for his kind efforts. The concept later emerged thanks to an American poem called “The Visit of St. Nicholas,” published in 1823.
Photo credit: Twitter / @catholicthing