Nicea is situated on the easthern side of Lake Ascania (İznik Gölü). It was an important lake for commerce through its port of Cius (Gemlik) in the ancient times. According to historians, Nicea was founded by Antigonus in 316 BC. Lysimachus captured the city and named it Nicea after his wife in 301 BC. The famous astronomer Hipparchus (190 BC) was born in Nicea who believed the earth was the center of the universe, the theory believed until Copernicus. In the 1st century AD, Nicea passed to the Roman rule and became the capital city of Bithynia.
The Romans built many things in Nicea which can be seen even today. A stone obelisk (5 taş), a stone bridge, monumental tomb, walls and four gates, ancient Street, palace of senate, sacred insect spring. Druing the Byzantine era, they built Church of the Koimesis and Hagia Sophia which was built by the Roman Emperor Justinian and where the 7th Ecumenical Council were held. Nicea passed to the Ottoman control in 1337 and the Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque. During the Ottoman times, Nicea was an important commerce city because of its strategic location. Besides the Roman remainings, the Ottoman traces are woth to see. You can book Nicea-Iznik Tour with Romos Travel.
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