Did you think that Santa Claus is American? He's not! Santa Claus is none other than the modern descendent of Saint-Nicolas, who lived in the city of Myre where he was bishop in the 3th century. Legend has it that Nicolas saved children from the clutches of a terrible butcher who used to eat them after cutting them into pieces in his salting tub!
Not only did the great Nicolas save many children, he also had the habit of discretely giving them gifts by coming down their chimney! Nicolas' generosity did not stop at helping children, however. According to legend, he also discretely helped a ruined noble to marry off his daughters by giving him a bag of gold so he could pay their dowries, and fishermen and sailors also maintained that they were saved by the great bishop several times.
Nicolas was canonised by the Vatican several centuries later, and the church where his body was laid to rest is now an important place of pilgrimage for the Orthodox. Its Byzantine architecture is worth the trip, and paintings from the 12th century are still visible. Although the Saint's tomb was plundered in 1087 by Italian sailors from Bari, the site is still worth seeing.