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Excavations in the ancient city of Patara show that settlement in the region started in the 8th century BC. The city, whose name is mentioned in the Hittite texts as “Patar”, is mentioned as Pttara in the Lycian language. The city, which was the capital of the Lycians for a long time, was besieged by Alexander the Great in the Roman Period and preserved its importance in the Byzantine Period as it was in a valley opening to the sea. Saint Nicholas, known as Santa Claus, is said to have been born here. For this reason, the city was also considered important by Christians.
Over time, the port of Patara, which was an important place for the empires, started to fill with sand. The city lost its importance when it became difficult for the boats to dock at the port and became increasingly impossible. When the sand blown by the wind completely filled the harbor, the people left the city.
This city also had a legend. One day, when Poseidon, the God of the Seas, was very angry with the Lycians, he blew with all his breath and started to hurl big waves and rain from the sand to Patara. The prayers and vows of the worried Patara people were not enough to save them. Finally, the oracles of the city gathered together and decided that the Lycian women should undress against Poseidon. As the women undressed, Poseidon was embarrassed and all was quiet. The raging waves never came to Patara beach again.