The story of St Nicholaus the origin behind Santa Claus is a long story beginning in what today is the south coust of Turkey were Nicholas was born in the 3rd century. Nicholas was raised as a devout Christian and he dedicated his life to serve God and help the poor. Already as a young man he became the Bishop of Myra. As a bishop he became known for his generosity to the poor, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships.
Nicholaus died in 343 AD and his death day the 6th December is celebrated as St Nicholaus day in Christian communities all around the world. The stories and legends about him has made him one of the most populart Saints in all the world and hundreds of churches are named after him.
You also find him depicted in thousands of paintings, icons and sculptures since the 15th century.
Also in several of the Danish churches you see him on the murals from the 16th and 15th centuries like in the Udbyneder Church where he is painted as the protector of the sailors.
The story about how saint Nicholaus became Santa Claus is an even longer story which you can read about at the St Nicholaus Center website.
THE FRESCOES IN UDBYNEDER KIRKE DENMARK
LIME PAINTINGS IN DANISH CHURCHES
The church in Udbyneder was built in the first part of the 12th century. The church lies in a small village north of Randers in Jutland.
The frescoes in the quire are from last part of the 15 century while the other frescoes are made from 1500 to 1523.
View Udbyneder Kirke in a larger map