One of the most extraordinary sights we came across in Turkey was the pilgrimage church of St Nicholas in Demre (ancient Myra).
There is a long association of St Nicholas with the town. He was Bishop of Myra, and died there on 6 December 343. His church became a pilgrimage church, centred around his relics -- until in the eleventh century the relics were nicked (pardon pun) and taken to Bari, where they still are.
The saint was still a ghostly presence in Demre, but recently the touristic allure of the place, was as the birthplace of Father Christmas, rather than as the shrine of a more sober orthodox saint. In fact those in our party who had visited the place a few years ago remembered the Father Christmas side of it. That is still visible in some of the old adornments, such as this (right) Santa Claus plus three grateful children - though the bakelite version (on the left) that used to stand there has apparently been removed, or at least moved..
It's quite different. The whole place is literally heaving with pious Russian pilgrims, each of whom is shuffling past a coffin, protected by a glass screen, which does not contain the relics of St Nicholas anyway.
We arrived quite early in the morning, and by the time we left around 11.30, there must have been thousands of the faithful already passed through.