Nicea is situated on the eastern side of Lake Ascania (İznik Gölü). It was an important lake for commerce through its port of Cius (Gemlik) in 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 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, the senate’s palace, sacred insect spring. During the Byzantine era, they built the Church of the Koimesis and Hagia Sophia, built by the Roman Emperor Justinian and where the 7th Ecumenical Council was 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 remains, the Ottoman traces are worth seeing. You can book Nicea-Iznik Tour with Romos Travel.
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