Iznik is a small town in northwestern Turkey, on the eastern shore of Lake Iznik. It is the modern successor of the important Byzantine city of Nicea (or Nicaea), where the famous Council of Nicea was summoned by Emperor Constantine the Great in 325 AD. The Council of Nicea was the first ecumenical (worldwide) council of the church and the first of Seven Ecumenical Councils recognized by most Christian denominations as having doctrinal authority. Around 300 bishops from across the Christian world attended. Another important council was held at Nicea in 787 to deal with the iconoclastic controversy (the dispute over whether the use of icons was appropriate or constituted idolatry). This is known as the Second Council of Nicea and the Seventh Ecumenical Council. It concluded that icons were worthy of veneration but not worship, and restored their use in the Byzantine Empire.
The Seljuk Turks captured Nicea in 1081 and renamed it Iznik. It was recaptured by the Byzantines in 1097 during the First Crusade, under Emperor Alexius I Comnenus. After the Crusaders captured Constantinople in 1204, the Empire of Nicea was founded. It served as a political and cultural center for 57 years, from which a restored Byzantium arose under Michael VIII Palaeologus.
Nicea was besieged and conquered in 1331 by the Ottoman Turks, who built the Green Mosque (1378–91). Iznik's prosperity was damaged by the competing growth of nearby Istanbul as an Ottoman centre after 1453, but revived in the 16th century with the introduction of faience pottery making. Iznik subsequently became famous for its magnificently beautiful Iznik tiles, which decorate mosques and palaces throughout Ottoman Empire.
After the tile workshops were transferred to Istanbul c. 1700, Iznik began to decline. Its economy suffered a further blow with the construction of a major railway bypassing the town. Today, Iznik is a small market town and administrative centre for the surrounding district, with a population of about 15,000.
The Second Vatican Council in 1962 described Iznik as a third 'holy city' after Jerusalem and the Vatican for Christians.
Our Iznik tour covers the following sights;
- *The Green Mosque
- *Archeological Museum
- *Hagia Sophia
- *Suleiman Pasha Madrasah
- *Roman Theater
- *Lake Iznik
Tour price; Due to the fact that we do individually designed tours to suit visitors interest and needs we do not have a standard fee per tour. When you send us your tour requirements we will help you devise an itinerary. When this has been completed we will quote you a rate accordingly. For the exact pricing please contact us.