Built during the era of Claudius, when the Turkish subregion of Lycia was part of the Roman Empire, the ancient gate in Patara is one of the architectural highlights in a region known for its ruins.
The man we know today as Saint Nicholas or Santa Claus was born in the city of Patara around 270 AD, decades before Christianity became the religion of the empire. He most certainly would have known this gate – would have walked through it, would have played near it, would have drunk water that flowed over it when it was a functioning aqueduct.
I write this post on December 6 – Saint Nicholas Day – a day on which I found myself looking at old photos. I happened upon this one of Patara, dated from August 2007, and remembered that, yes, I had once visited the land of Santa Claus.
I wrote little about Turkey during the years I was there and I took even fewer photos then; I wouldn’t get an iPhone for two more years. So I feel a need to resurrect some of the photos that I did take before they get lost in the digital dustbin.
Patara’s ancient gate underwent a renovation in 2020. You can learn more about the history of Patara from the official Turkey Tourism website.