Iznik Things to Do Tips by Willettsworld
Iznik Things to Do: 46 reviews and 129 photos
Part of a Roman road has been excavated beside the Murat Hamami which is located along the main north-south road to the north of the Hagia Sophia in the town centre. It dates between the 1st and 2nd centuries and features columns.
This bath-house is located along the main north-south road to the north of the Hagia Sophia in the town centre. It was built at the end of the 14th century and has sections for men and women. It was recently restored in 2007 and several ceramic and jewellery shops have opened around it. There is also part of a Roman road near it (see next tip).
Iznik sits on the eastern shore of a huge 290 sq km lake which is known as Iznik Lake. I drove to Iznik from Bursa and drove along the lakes southern shore which is a very picturesque drive through small towns and villages with farmers and local people harvesting olives.
Near the walls to the south-west of the town centre lies the remains of a Roman Theatre which was built on the orders of Emperor Trajan between 111 and 112 AD. The stones of the theatre, which was raised by means of vaulted spaces on flat land and had a seating capacity of 15,000, were dismantled and used in the construction of the city walls by the Byzantines. A church was built near it in the 13th century when the area was used as a cemetery.
This small mosque is located just south along the main road from the Hagia Sophia. It was built by Mahmut Celebi in 1442.
The most famous sight in Iznik is this former church which was built by Byzantine emperor Justinian I in the 6th century and modelled after its larger namesake in Istanbul. It's famous because it was here, in 787, that the seventh Ecumenical Council (also known as the Second Council of Nicaea) was held by Roman Catholics to restore the honouring of icons and holy images which had been suppressed by imperial the Byzantine Empire during the reign of Leo III (717 - 741). It had just finished being restored when I visited, not for the first time as it has been restored many times following an earthquake in 1065 and during the capture of Iznik by Sultan Orhan in 1331. After the Ottoman conquest it was converted in a mosque but was destroyed, again, by a fire in the 16th century. Construction was supervised by the great architect Mimar Sinan who added the minaret.
This bath-house is located opposite the Ottoman kilns and was built during the reign of Sultan Murat II in the first half of the 15th century.
On these grounds in the centre of town are the remains of the kilns that once stood here which produced the ceramic tiles that were Izink's claim-to-fame. You can find the tiles in every Ottoman mosque in places like Istanbul, Edirne and Bursa. Production ran from the 15th-17th century (on the remains of a 4th century building), and some of the kilns are restored under the roofs.
All that remains of this church are ruins. It's located just east of the bus station and was originally built around 800 AD and is said to be the burial place of the Byzantine emperor Theodore I (1175-1222, also known as Lascaris). It was Lascaris who built Iznik's (then known as Nicaea) outer walls and established his court here.
Address: Celebi Sk
There is a Roman aqueduct that runs from the Lefke Gate on the eastern side of the town’s walls.
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