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Myra (modern Demre/Antalya) was a metropolis of Lycia. Myra flourished in late antiquity: walls were constructed under Marcian, and the whole city was rebuilt by Justinian I after the earthquake of 529. Although the civic monuments of Myra are poorly known, remains of its port, Andriake, indicate substantial growth in the 6th century. Myra was subject to often devastating Arab raids during the 7th-8th century. Building activity in city and port indicate recovery in the 11th century, interrupted by Turkish and Latin attacks, then yielding to desolation and Turkish conquest in the late 12th century. Myra's major monument, the Church of St. Nicholas of Myra, was a cross-domed basilica built over the ruins of a Justinianic church, perhaps in the 8th century. During the 11-12th century, when it was an important pilgrimage center, it was redecorated and enlarged. The fortress on the acropolis shows two periods, probably of the 7th-8th century and 12th century. The region of Myra contains numerous stone churches (notably the monastery of Holy Sion), chapels, and entire villages that indicate considerable prosperity in the 6th century and general decline or abandonment thereafter.

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Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium


Album (Byzantine Legacy Flickr)

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