In Ireland, found the city where Santa Claus is buried

(ORDO NEWS) — Lidar has helped archaeologists locate and map a medieval trading town that may contain the relics of Nicholas the Wonderworker.

In County Kilkenny, in the east of Ireland, is the Cistercian Abbey of Gerpoint. And not far from it are the ruins, which the locals call the ruins of the chapel, in which Saint Nicholas, the prototype of Santa Claus (in the Orthodox tradition, this saint is called Nicholas the Wonderworker) is supposedly buried.

The location of the chapel outside the abbey seemed strange to archaeologists from University College Dublin (Ireland).

In addition, they found that on maps printed in 1842, the city of Newtown Gerpoint was indicated at this place. But there are no traces of him on the surface of the earth.

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A map of the city of Newtown Gerpoint was drawn based on lidar data

Archaeologists studied written sources and came to the conclusion that there really was a fairly large trading city. The first information about it belongs to the XIII century.

The city was built around the main crossing over the River Nor. The passage of trade carts on the bridge was paid.

Scientists examined the site of the proposed urban development using lidar, compared the data obtained with historical sources, and compiled a preliminary map of the city. On it they marked a large number of estates, a courthouse, a cloth factory, a tannery and a brewery.

The city remained inhabited until the 18th century, but quickly fell into disrepair. This happened because the main trade route had changed, and there was no one to collect tolls on the bridge.

Today, the place where the medieval city once stood looks like a flat field – with one exception. The ruins of the church of St. Nicholas are still visible on it.

According to legend, Saint Nicholas, the prototype of Santa Claus, was buried in the city about 800 years ago.

His alleged tombstone depicts the saint himself and the heads of two knights behind each shoulder who are said to have carried Nicholas’s remains to Ireland. And this is not the first grave in which Santa Claus is allegedly buried.

At the end of the 11th century, Emperor Alexei I Komnenos ascended the Byzantine throne. The empire that he inherited was being torn to pieces at once from all sides at that moment.

From the east it was attacked by the Seljuk Turks, from the north by the Pechenegs, and from the west by the Normans.

All this led to the fact that Alexei I turned to Pope Urban II for help, and this was the beginning of the era of the Crusades.

But even before the arrival of the crusaders, the safety of the relics of Christian saints allegedly greatly worried some inhabitants of Italy. The relics of St. Nicholas were in the Lycian Worlds (the territory of modern Turkey).

And the inhabitants of the city of Bari decided that the transfer of the remains of the saint (besides myrrh-streaming) to their city would contribute to the prosperity of their homeland. Approximately the same thought occurred to the Venetian merchants.

As a result, two expeditions independent of each other went to Antioch, and on the way back they turned into Myra to venerate the holy relics. The Barians were the first to do so.

They tried to solve the matter amicably: they offered money to the guards of the sarcophagus. When the monks refused, they simply tied them up, opened the sarcophagus and took away the bones, but only the largest ones.

Small bones (about a fifth of the entire skeleton) remained, they were collected and hidden, but then the late Venetians appeared.

Under torture, the monks told the merchants where they had hidden the relics. As a result, the remains of the saint sailed immediately to Bari and Venice. In both cities they were placed in specially built chapels.

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Throne over the relics of Nicholas the Wonderworker in Bari

Already in the 20th century, two research groups confirmed that the bones from Bari and from Venice were parts of the same skeleton. But is it really Santa Claus? And what about Ireland?

In Ireland, it is believed that the remains of Nicholas were taken from Mir to Bari by representatives of the French de Fresnay family. The De Fresnes were crusaders in the Holy Land and landowners in both Italian Bari and Irish Thomastown.

In time they moved to Ireland and are said to have transported the relics of Saint Nicholas to Newtown Gerpoint sometime in the 12th century. Whether this legend has a historical basis – excavations will show.


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