İznik

İznik is a town and an administrative district in the Province of Bursa, Turkey.[3] It was historically known as Nicaea (Greek: Νίκαια, Níkaia), from which its modern name also derives. The town lies in a fertile basin at the eastern end of Lake İznik, bounded by ranges of hills to the north and south. As the crow flies, the town is only 90 kilometres (56 miles) southeast of Istanbul but by road it is 200 km (124 miles) around the Gulf of Izmit. It is 80 km (50 miles) by road from Bursa.

The town is situated with its west wall rising from the lake itself, providing both protection from siege from that direction, as well as a source of supplies which would be difficult to cut off. The lake is large enough that it cannot be blockaded from the land easily, and the city was large enough to make any attempt to reach the harbour from shore-based siege weapons very difficult.

The city was surrounded on all sides by 5 km (3 mi) of walls about 10 m (33 ft) high. These were in turn surrounded by a double ditch on the land portions, and also included over 100 towers in various locations. Large gates on the three landbound sides of the walls provided the only entrance to the city.

Today the walls are pierced in many places for roads, but much of the early work survives and as a result it is a tourist destination. The town has a population of about 15,000. It has been a district center of Bursa Province since 1930. It was in the district of Kocaeli between 1923 and 1927 and was a township of Yenişehir (bound to Bilecik before 1926) district between 1927 and 1930.

The town was an important producer of highly decorated fritware vessels and tiles in the 16th and 17th centuries.

İznik
Hagia Sophia of Nicaea, modern İznik.
Hagia Sophia of Nicaea, modern İznik.
İznik is located in Turkey
İznik
İznik
Coordinates: 40°25′45″N 29°43′16″E / 40.42917°N 29.72111°ECoordinates: 40°25′45″N 29°43′16″E / 40.42917°N 29.72111°E
Country Turkey
ProvinceBursa
Government
 • MayorOsman Sargın (AKP)
 • KaymakamHüseyin Karameşe
Area
 • District736.51 km2 (284.37 sq mi)
Population
(2012)[2]
 • Urban
22,507
 • District
43,425
 • District density59/km2 (150/sq mi)
Post code
16860
Websitewww.iznik.bel.tr

History

For the history before the Ottoman conquest, see the article on Nicaea.

In 1331, Orhan I captured the city from the Byzantines and for a short period the town became the capital of the expanding Ottoman emirate.[4] The large church of Hagia Sophia in the centre of the town was converted into a mosque and became known as the Orhan Mosque.[5] A madrasa and baths were built nearby.[6] In 1334 Orhan built a mosque and an imaret (soup kitchen) just outside the Yenisehir gate (Yenişeh Kapısı) on the south side of the town.[7]

Iznik Wall at Yenisehir Gate 8227 Panorama

Iznik Wall at Yenişehir Gate

Iznik Wall at Yenisehir Gate 8219

Iznik Wall at Yenişehir Gate

Iznik Wall at Lefke Gate 8274

Iznik Wall at Lefke Gate

Iznik Wall at Lefke Gate 8254

Iznik Wall at Lefke Gate

Iznik Wall at Istanbul Gate 8288

Iznik Wall at Istanbul Gate

Iznik Theatre 1644

Iznik Theatre

Iznik Church remains possibly Dormition 8213

Iznik Church remains possibly Dormition

Iznik Church remains possibly Dormition 8210

Iznik Church remains possibly Dormition

Iznik Suleymanpasha Medresesi 1713

Iznik Suleymanpasha Medresesi

The Moroccan traveller Ibn Battuta stayed in Iznik at the end of 1331 soon after the capture of the town by Orhan.[8] According to Ibn Battuta, the town was in ruins and only inhabited by a small number of people who were in the service of the sultan. Within the city walls were gardens and cultivated plots with each house surrounded by an orchard. The town produced fruit, walnuts, chestnuts and large sweet grapes.[7][9]

A census in 1520 recorded 379 Muslim and 23 Christian households while a census taken a century later in 1624 recorded 351 Muslim and 10 Christian households. Assuming five members for each household, these figures suggest that the population was around 2,000. Various estimates in the 18th and 19th centuries give similar numbers.[10] The town was poor and the population small even when the ceramic production was at its peak during the second half of the 16th century.[11]

The Byzantine city is estimated to have had a population of 20,000–30,000 but in the Ottoman period the town was never prosperous and occupied only a small fraction of the walled area. The English clergyman John Covel visited Iznik in 1677 and found that only a third of the town was occupied.[12] In 1745 the English traveller Richard Pococke reported that Iznik was no more than a village.[13] A succession of visitors described the town in unflattering terms. After his visit in 1779, the Italian archaeologist Domenico Sestini wrote that Iznik was nothing but an abandoned town with no life, no noise and no movement.[7][14] In 1797 James Dallaway described Iznik as "a wretched village of long lanes and mud walls...".[7][15] The town was seriously damaged in 1921 during the Greco-Turkish War (1919–1922); the population became refugees and many historical buildings were damaged or destroyed.[16]

Panoramic view of İznik (ancient Nicaea) with Lake İznik in the background.
Panoramic view of İznik (ancient Nicaea) with Lake İznik in the background.

Pottery and tiles

Iznik tiles in Selimiye Mosque
Iznik tiles inside the Selimiye Mosque in Edirne

The town became more important with the development a pottery and tile making industry during the Ottoman period in the 16th century, known as the İznik Çini. Iznik ceramic tiles were used to decorate many of the mosques in Istanbul designed by Mimar Sinan. However, this industry declined in the 17th century[17] and İznik became a mainly agricultural minor town in the area when a major railway bypassed it in the 19th century.

Iznik Museum 1702

Iznik Museum in Nilüfer Hatun Soup Kitchen

Iznik Museum 5040 1133

Iznik Museum exhibit

Iznik Museum 1130

Iznik Museum Exhibit

Iznik Museum 1149

Iznik Museum exhibit

Iznik Museum 1141

Iznik Museum exhibit

Iznik Museum 1130

Iznik Museum Exhibit

Surviving monuments

A number of monuments were erected by the Ottomans in the period between the conquest in 1331 and 1402 when the town was sacked by Timur. Among those that have survived are:

  • Hacı Özbek Mosque (1333). This mosque was built only three years after the conquest. The portico on the west side of the building was demolished in 1940 to widen the road.[18]
  • Yeşil Mosque of Iznik Green Mosque (1378–1391). The mosque was built for Çandarlı Kara Halil Hayreddin Pasha, the first Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire. It is located near the Lefke Gate on the east side of the town. It was damaged in 1922 during the Greco-Turkish War and restored between 1956 and 1969.[7][19]
  • Hagia Sophia also known as Aya Sofya (Greek: Ἁγία Σοφία, "Holy Wisdom") is a Byzantine-era former church building which was built by Justinian I in the middle of the city in the 6th century.[20]
  • Nilüfer Hatun Soup Kitchen (Nilüfer Hatun Imareti) (1388). The building was abandoned for many years but was restored in 1955 and is now a museum.[21]
  • Süleyman Pasa Madrasa (mid 14th century). This is one of the two surviving madrasas in the town. It was restored in the 19th century and again in 1968.[22]
  • Mausoleum of Çandarli Hayreddin Pasa (14th century). The main room contains fifteen sarcophagi. A lower room contains three more sarcophagi including that of Hayreddin Pasha. The mausoleum is located in a cemetery outside the Lefke gate to the east of the town.[23]

Several monuments survived into the 20th century but were destroyed during the Greco-Turkish War (1919–1922). These include:

  • Church of the Koimesis/Dormition (6th–8th century but rebuilt after the 1065 earthquake). This was the only church in the town that was not transformed into a mosque.[24] It was decorated with 11th century Byzantine mosaics of which photographs survive.[25][26]
  • Eşrefzâde Rumi Mosque (15th century). Eşrefzâde Rumi was married to the daughter of Hacı Bayram-ı Veli. He founded a sufi sect and after his death in 1469–70 his tomb became a pilgrimage site.[7] The mosque was decorated with Iznik tiles.[27]
  • Seyh Kutbeddin Mosque and Mausoleum (15th century). The mausoleum has been rebuilt.[28]
Iznik Esrefoglu complex 8328

Iznik Esrefoglu complex Exterior

Iznik Esrefoglu complex 8333

Iznik Esrefoglu complex Interior

Iznik Esrefoglu complex 8141

Iznik Esrefoglu complex tombs

Iznik Seyh Kutbuddin mosque 8148

Iznik Seyh Kutbuddin mosque with mausoleum

Iznik Seyh Kutbuddin mosque 8148

Iznik Seyh Kutbuddin mosque with mausoleum

Iznik Seyh Kutbuddin mosque 8305

Iznik Seyh Kutbuddin mosque Tombs

Sport

The İznik Ultramarathon is a 130 km (81 mi) trail endurance running event that takes place around Lake İznik in April since 2012 as the country's longest single-stage athletics competition.[29]

International relations

Twin towns – sister cities

İznik is twinned with:

Notes

  1. ^ "Area of regions (including lakes), km²". Regional Statistics Database. Turkish Statistical Institute. 2002. Retrieved 2013-03-05.
  2. ^ "Population of province/district centers and towns/villages by districts - 2012". Address Based Population Registration System (ABPRS) Database. Turkish Statistical Institute. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
  3. ^ Lonely Planet Turkey ed. Verity Campbell 2007 Page 291 "Original İznik tiles are antiquities and cannot be exported from Turkey, but new tiles make great, if not particularly cheap, souvenirs."
  4. ^ Raby 1989, p. 19–20.
  5. ^ Tsivikis, Nikolaos (23 March 2007), "Nicaea, Church of Hagia Sophia", Encyclopaedia of the Hellenic World, Asia Minor, Foundation of the Hellenic World, retrieved 20 September 2014.
  6. ^ St. Sophia Museum, ArchNet, retrieved 20 September 2014.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Raby 1989, p. 20.
  8. ^ Dunn 2005, p. 158 note 20. Raby (1989, p. 20) suggests a date between 1334 and 1339.
  9. ^ Defrémery & Sanguinetti 1854, pp. 323–324; Gibb 1962, p. 453
  10. ^ Raby 1989, pp. 20–21.
  11. ^ Raby 1989, p. 21.
  12. ^ Covel 1893, p. 281.
  13. ^ Pococke 1745, p. 123.
  14. ^ Sestini 1789, pp. 219–220.
  15. ^ Dallaway 1797, p. 169.
  16. ^ Uyan, Ayhan (28 November 2011), İznik’te Milli Mücadelede Yunan Tahribatı, iznikrehber.com, retrieved 19 June 2013
  17. ^ http://mini-site.louvre.fr/trois-empires/en/ceramiques-ottomanes.php
  18. ^ Haci Özbek Mosque, ArchNet, retrieved 20 September 2014.
  19. ^ Green Mosque, ArchNet, retrieved 20 September 2014.
  20. ^ Hazlitt, Classical Gazetteer, "Nicæa"
  21. ^ Nilüfer Hatun Soup Kitchen, ArchNet, retrieved 20 September 2014.
  22. ^ Süleyman Pasa Madrasa, ArchNet, retrieved 20 September 2014.
  23. ^ Tomb of Çandarli Hayreddin Pasa, ArchNet, retrieved 20 September 2014.
  24. ^ Kastrinakis, Nikos (16 June 2005), "Nicaea (Byzantium), Dormition Church", Encyclopaedia of the Hellenic World, Asia Minor, Foundation of the Hellenic World, retrieved 20 September 2014.
  25. ^ Mango 1959.
  26. ^ Kanaki, Elena (22 June 2005), "Nicaea (Byzantium), Church of the Dormition, Mosaics", Encyclopaedia of the Hellenic World, Asia Minor, Foundation of the Hellenic World, retrieved 20 September 2014.
  27. ^ Esrefzade Rumi Mosque, ArchNet, retrieved 20 September 2014.
  28. ^ Seyh Kutbeddin Mosque and Tomb, ArchNet, retrieved 20 September 2014.
  29. ^ "İznik'te maraton heyecanı başladı". Sabah (in Turkish). 2012-04-14. Retrieved 2013-11-26.
  30. ^ "Twinnings" (PDF). Central Union of Municipalities & Communities of Greece. Retrieved 2013-08-25.

References

Further reading

External links

Abu'l-Qasim (Seljuq governor of Nicaea)

Abu'l-Qasim (Turkish: Ebu'l-Kasım) was the Seljuk governor of Nicaea, the Seljuk capital, from 1084 to his death in 1092.

Anatolian Seljuks family tree

Anatolian Seljuks (also called Seljuks of Rum and Seljuks of Turkey) was a former dynasty in Turkey.

Süleyman, the founder of the dynasty, was a member of the Seljuk dynasty. His father was Tuğrul Bey's cousin. In 1077, after capturing Nicaea (modern İznik), Süleyman founded his state as a vassal of the main Seljuk Empire. However, the Seljuks of Anatolia soon became independent of the main empire, and their state survived till the beginning of the 14th century.

Bursa Province

Bursa Province (Turkish: Bursa ili) is a province in Turkey, along the Sea of Marmara coast in northwestern Anatolia. Its adjacent provinces are Balıkesir to the west, Kütahya to the south, Bilecik and Sakarya to the east, Kocaeli to the northeast and Yalova to the north. The province has an area of 11,043 km2 and a population of 2,842,547 (2015). Its population was 2,125,140 according to the 2000 census. In 1990 it had a population of 1,603,137. The traffic code is 16.

The vast majority of the Bursa Province districts (and the city of Bursa) are located within the Marmara Region; but the districts of Büyükorhan, Harmancık, Keles and Orhaneli are located within the Aegean Region.

The city of Bursa was the capital of the Ottoman State between 1326 and 1365, until the Ottoman conquest of Edirne (Adrianople) which became the new Ottoman capital between 1365 and 1453 (the year when Istanbul (Constantinople) became the final Ottoman capital until 1923.)

Empire of Nicaea

The Empire of Nicaea or the Nicene Empire was the largest of the three Byzantine Greek rump states founded by the aristocracy of the Byzantine Empire that fled after Constantinople was occupied by Western European and Venetian forces during the Fourth Crusade. Founded by the Laskaris family, it lasted from 1204 to 1261, when the Nicaeans restored the Byzantine Empire in Constantinople.

Emre Vural

Emre Vural (born 1 January 1992) is a Turkish male badminton player.

Green Mosque (İznik)

Green Mosque of Iznik (Turkish: Yeşil Camii) is a historic Ottoman mosque in Iznik, Turkey.

Haji Özbek Mosque

Haji Özbek Mosque (Turkish: Hacı Özbek Camii) is a historical Ottoman mosque in Iznik, Turkey.

Halil Ergün

Halil İbrahim Ergün (born September 8, 1946) is a Turkish stage, movie and television series actor.He studied political science at Ankara University. Halil began his theater career in Bursa. Ergün debuted in cinema with director Yilmaz Güney in 1974. Ergün played in many important movies, including Maden, Kuma, Hamam and Kalbin zamanı. He has performed in more than 80 roles in theater and cinema. In 2006, he starred in the popular television series Yaprak Dökümü as Ali Rıza Bey.Ergün was honored with "Best Actor" award in the theater and cinema, including from Golden Orange Film Festival in 1995 for "Böcek" and from Adana Golden Boll Film Festival in 1995 for "Böcek" and again in 1996 for "Mum Kokulu Kadınlar". He received an honorary lifelong achievement award in 2007 from Golden Orange Film Festival.

Handan Agha Mosque

Handan Agha Mosque is a mosque near the Golden Horn in the Hasköy neighborhood of Beyoğlu, Istanbul, Turkey. It is also known as the Kuşkonmaz or "Birds Don't Perch" Mosque. One of Sultan Mehmed II's aghas, Handan Agha, had it built in the 15th century. The interior is decorated with İznik tiles from the 16th and 17th centuries, with some maiolica tiles from the 19th century. The basement of the mosque was formerly a boathouse, until the coastline was filled for land reclamation. The mosque was repaired in the 18th and 19th centuries, and the 1960s.

Iznik pottery

Iznik pottery, or Iznik ware, named after the town of İznik in western Anatolia where it was made, is a decorated ceramic that was produced from the last quarter of the 15th century until the end of the 17th century.

İznik was an established centre for the production of simple earthenware pottery with an underglaze decoration when, in the last quarter of the 15th century, craftsmen in the town began to manufacture high quality pottery with a fritware body painted with cobalt blue under a colourless transparent lead glaze. The designs combined traditional Ottoman arabesque patterns with Chinese elements. The change was almost certainly a result of active intervention and patronage by the recently established Ottoman court in Istanbul who greatly valued Chinese blue-and-white porcelain.

During the 16th century the decoration of the pottery gradually changed in style, becoming looser and more flowing. Additional colours were introduced. Initially turquoise was combined with the dark shade of cobalt blue and then the pastel shades of sage green and pale purple were added. From the middle of the century the potters in Iznik produced large quantities of underglazed tiles to decorate the imperial buildings designed by the architect Mimar Sinan. Associated with the production of tiles was the introduction of a very characteristic bole red to replace the purple and a bright emerald green to replace the sage green. From the last decade of the century there was a marked deterioration in quality and although production continued during the 17th century the designs were poor. The last important building to be decorated with tiles from Iznik was the Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque) in Istanbul that was completed in 1616.

The ceramic collection of the Topkapi Palace includes over ten thousand pieces of Chinese porcelain but almost no Iznik pottery. Most of the surviving Iznik vessels are in museums outside Turkey, but examples of the city's tile production exist in numerous cities throughout Turkey, such as İstanbul, Bursa, Edirne and Adana. In Istanbul examples of Iznik tiling can be seen in mosques, tombs, libraries, and palace buildings, such as the Rüstem Pasha Mosque, the Sokollu Mehmet Pasha Mosque, the tomb of Selim II in the Hagia Sophia complex, and certain buildings of the Topkapı Palace complex such as the Circumcision room and the Baghdad Kiosk.

Kübra Akman

Kübra Akman Çalışkan (born 13 October 1994) is a Turkish female volleyball player.

Lake İznik

Lake Iznik (Turkish: İznik Gölü) is a lake in the Province of Bursa, Turkey. It is around 32 km in length and 10 km in width with a maximum depth of about 80 m. The town of Iznik (historically known as Nicaea) lies at its eastern end. The lake's Ancient Greek name was Askania, (Ασκάνια).

List of populated places in Bursa Province

Below is the list of populated places in Bursa Province, Turkey by the districts. The first seven districts (Gemlik, Gürsu, Kestel, Mudanya, Nilüfer, Osmangazi, Yıldırım) are actually parts of Greater Bursa. In the following lists first place in each list is the administrative center of the district.

Nicaea

Nicaea or Nicea (; Greek: Νίκαια, Níkaia; Turkish: İznik) was an ancient Greek city in northwestern Anatolia, and is primarily known as the site of the First and Second Councils of Nicaea (the first and seventh Ecumenical councils in the early history of the Christian Church), the Nicene Creed (which comes from the First Council), and as the capital city of the Empire of Nicaea following the Fourth Crusade in 1204, until the recapture of Constantinople by the Byzantines in 1261.

The ancient city is located within the modern Turkish city of İznik (whose modern name derives from Nicaea's), and is situated in a fertile basin at the eastern end of Lake Ascanius, bounded by ranges of hills to the north and south. It is situated with its west wall rising from the lake itself, providing both protection from siege from that direction, as well as a source of supplies which would be difficult to cut off. The lake is large enough that it could not be blockaded from the land easily, and the city was large enough to make any attempt to reach the harbour from shore-based siege weapons very difficult.

The ancient city is surrounded on all sides by 5 kilometres (3 mi) of walls about 10 metres (33 ft) high. These are in turn surrounded by a double ditch on the land portions, and also included over 100 towers in various locations. Large gates on the three landbound sides of the walls provided the only entrance to the city.

Today the walls have been pierced in many places for roads, but much of the early work survives and, as a result, it is a major tourist destination.

Second Council of Nicaea

The Second Council of Nicaea is recognized as the last of the first seven ecumenical councils by the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church. In addition, it is also recognized as such by the Old Catholics and others. Protestant opinions on it are varied.

It met in AD 787 in Nicaea (site of the First Council of Nicaea; present-day İznik in Turkey) to restore the use and veneration of icons (or, holy images), which had been suppressed by imperial edict inside the Byzantine Empire during the reign of Leo III (717–741). His son, Constantine V (741–775), had held the Council of Hieria to make the suppression official.

Siege of Nicaea

The Siege of Nicaea took place from May 14 to June 19, 1097, during the First Crusade. The city belonged to the Seljuk Turks who surrendered to the crusaders. After the siege followed the Battle of Dorylaeum, and the siege of Antioch all in modern Turkey.

Siege of Nicaea (1328–1331)

The Siege of Nicaea by the forces of Orhan I from 1328 to 1331, resulted in the conquest of a key Byzantine Greek city by the Ottoman Turks. It played an important role in the expansion of the Ottoman Empire.

Silahdar Damat Ali Pasha

Silahdar Damat Ali Pasha (1667 – 5 August 1716), also called Silahdar Ali Pasha, was an Ottoman general and Grand Vizier. His epithet silahdar means arms bearer and damat means bridegroom.

İznik Ultramarathon

İznik Ultramarathon, shortly İznik Ultra, is an international trail running ultramarathon event that takes place at İznik town of Bursa Province in northwestern Turkey. It was established in 2012 with the first race held on April 14-15. Lasting two days, the race is Turkey's longest single stage athletic event.

The course is a loop around the Lake Iznik with a distance of 133 km (83 mi) and a total elevation gain of 2,248 m (7,375 ft). İznik Ultra consists of the part races as the 80k "Orhangazi Ultra", the 42k "İznik Mountain Marathon" and additionally a city fun run "İznik 10k". The winners are bestowed with medals specially made out of İznik pottery, which made the town famous in the Ottoman Empire era.In 2013, 250 athletes from 17 nations participated at the event. The race for 2014 is scheduled on April 19-20.

İznik in Bursa Province of Turkey
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