Myra is the ancient Lycian name of an important city located near the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. Today the city is called “Demre,” or more recently “Kale.”
The apostle Paul visited Myra in A.D. 60—as a prisoner! Paul, and possibly Luke and others (note the “we” section here), passed through Myra on their way to Rome after Paul had appealed to have his case tried before Caesar.
Acts 27:5–6 describes this portion of the trip from Caesarea to Rome in this way:
“… when we had sailed across the open sea off the coast of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we landed at Myra in Lycia. There the centurion found an Alexandrian ship sailing for Italy and put us on board.”
Much of this must have transpired in Andriace, the port of Myra.
In the Byzantine Period Myra was the provincial capital of Lycia, and in the fourth century St. Nicholas was its bishop!
Myra was one of the three major cities in the Lycian Federation and it is believed that its name is related to the Greek word for myrrh. There is no evidence that myrrh was grown here, but possibly it was shipped through the city on its way to the west—especially to Athens and Rome.
Click the following to view, without charge or obligation images of the Tombs of Myra, the Theater at Myra, and the Church of St. Nicholas.
There is a large plain area between Myra and the sea that was probably farmed extensively in ancient times. Today plastic “hot houses,” in which tomatoes are grown, cover the whole plain!
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