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İznik (Turkey)
Red pog.svg
Bursa location İznik.svg
Location of İznik within Bursa
Basic data
Province (il) : Bursa
Coordinates : 40 ° 26 '  N , 29 ° 43'  E Coordinates: 40 ° 25 '45 "  N , 29 ° 43' 16"  E
Telephone code : (+90) 224
Postal code : 16 860
License plate : 16
Structure and administration (as of 2019)
Structure : 46 Mahalles
Mayor : Kağan Mehmet Usta ( AKP )
Postal address : Selçuk Mh.
Rauf Denktaş Cd. No: 4
16860 İznik / Bursa
İznik County
Residents : 43,330 (2018)
Surface: 753 km²
Population density : 58 inhabitants per km²
Kaymakam : Bülent Bayraktar
Website (Kaymakam):

Template: Infobox Location in Turkey / Maintenance / InhabitantsOrtMisst

Template: Infobox location in Turkey / maintenance / district

İznik ( ancient Greek Νίκαια Nikaia ; Latin Nicaea ; German Nicäa , Nikäa or Nizäa ) is a city in the district of the same name in the Turkish province of Bursa and at the same time a district of the Büyükşehir belediyesi Bursa (metropolitan municipality / metropolitan province ) created in 1986 . It is located on Lake İznik ( Turkish İznik Gölü , Greek Askania Limne ).


Ancient and Byzantine Nikaia

The city in Asia Minor is located in Bithynia , not far from Constantinople and the former Roman imperial residence Nicomedia . Nikaia is said to have carried the name Elikore or Ankore in the early days . Antigonus I. Monophthalmos put on a colony Antigoneia there. Probably around 301 BC Lysimachos founded the city again and named it after his first wife Nikaia . Some time later (282/281 BC) Nikaia came to Bithynia and was from 74 BC. BC Roman when this kingdom became a Roman province.

Nikaia gained importance in late antiquity through the ecumenical councils held there :

Nikaia was the capital of the theme of Opsikion first mentioned in 680 .

The city was conquered in 1077 by the Rum Seljuks , who established their first capital here. However, in 1097, after a siege by the crusaders in the First Crusade, the city fell back to Byzantium , which was able to persuade the Turkish occupation to surrender in order to avoid plundering by the crusaders. The crusaders considered this behavior treason.

In 1204, after the conquest of Constantinople by the Crusaders of the Fourth Crusade , Nicaea was used as a provisional capital by the Byzantines expelled from Constantinople under Emperor Theodor I Laskaris . Nicaea remained the headquarters of the exiled Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople . The Empire of Nicaea continued the Byzantine tradition until the reconquest of Constantinople in 1261.

The Ottoman city

In 1331 the city fell to the Ottoman Empire .

Under the Ottomans, İznik, along with Kütahya , developed into an outstanding center of ceramic production ( İznik ceramics ).

Bronze coin from Nicea, e.g. Currently Emperor Alexander Severus
Bronze coin from Nicea z. Currently Alexander Severus', with city name on the back
Plate in underglaze painting in saz style around 1550. Today in the Musée du Louvre , Paris .
The theater, restored by Pliny , but again in disrepair.


The well-preserved ancient city wall with its gates, some churches and the Roman theater can still be visited. There is a large archaeological museum.

The oldest building is the church of Hagia Sophia from the 4th century. The seventh ecumenical council was held here. Orhan I converted it into a mosque, including remains of frescoes and mosaics and a step-shaped priest's bench ( synthronon ) in the apse. The mosque was in ruins for a long time until it was converted into a museum after the founding of modern Turkey. At the initiative of the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister - and member of the Islamic ruling party AKP - Bülent Arınç , the Hagia Sophia Museum has been used as a mosque again since November 2011, although the local city administration protested against it.

The Hacı-Özbek Mosque , with an inscription dating back to 1333, is one of the oldest mosques in Ottoman architecture .

The Hagia Sophia in Nicaea.
The green mosque.
Iznik tiles inside the Selimiye Mosque in Edirne .
The Lefke Gate, part of the Nikaia city walls.


The quickest way to get to İznik from Istanbul is via the ferry to Yalova and Orhangazi .


General literature
city ​​wall
  • Alfons Maria Schneider, Walter Karnapp : The city wall of İznik (Nicaea) . Istanbul Research 9. Berlin 1938.
  • Clive Foss, David Winfield: Byzantine fortifications. An introduction . Pretoria 1986, ISBN 0-86981-321-8 , pp. 79-120.
Hagia Sophia
  • Sabine Möllers: The Hagia Sophia in İznik, Nikaia . Alfter 1994, ISBN 3-929742-32-2 .
  • Michael Altripp: Thoughts on the Synthronos of Hagia Sophia in İznik-Nikaia . in: Byzantinische Zeitschrift 92 (1999) pp. 448–454.
Koimesis Church (destroyed in 1922)
  • Oskar Wulff : The Koimesiskirche in Nicaea and its mosaics . Strasbourg 1903.
  • Theodor Schmit: The Koimesis Church of Nikaia. The structure and the mosaics . Berlin 1927.
  • Urs Peschlow : New observations on the architecture and furnishings of the Koimesiskirche in İznik . in: Istanbuler Mitteilungen 22 (1972) pp. 145–187.
Ancient inscriptions

Web links

Commons : İznik  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Nufusu.com Türkiye Nüfusu , accessed on September 10, 2019
  2. ^ Karl Strobel : Nikaia [5]. In: The New Pauly (DNP). Volume 8, Metzler, Stuttgart 2000, ISBN 3-476-01478-9 . N. Bonacasa: Nicaea (Iznik) Bithynia, Turkey . In: The Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites . Princeton University Press, Princeton 1976 ( online ). Leonhard SchmitzNicaea 1 . In: William Smith : Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. London 1854.
  3. ^ Controversy over the Hagia Sofia in Nicaea - a historical building of early Christianity in Turkey became a mosque. In: Deutschlandfunk, "Day by Day: From Religion and Society", December 13, 2011
  4. ^ Godfrey Goodwin: A History of Ottoman Architecture . Thames and Hudson, London 1971, ISBN 0-500-27429-0 , pp. 17 .