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İznik in History

Iznik is one of the rarest ancient and historical cities of the world known as "Open Air Museum." Prehistorical remains and lots of mounds found in the neighbourhood demonstrate that the region has been inhabited since prehistoric times.
Iznik was found by Antigonius Monophthalmos, one of the generals of Alexander the Great, in 316 BC. As it happens then, the city was named as Antigonia after him. Then Lysimakhos, who seized the city, named it after his wife Nikaia.

King of Bithynia, Zipoites, who was the ruler in the region, seized Nikaia in 279 B.C. and made the city the capital of his kingdom. Gold coins were minted in the name of the city and it became known as “Golden City.” After a long period wars between the Empire of Roma and the Kingdom of Bithynia, Roman army won and named that beatiful lake city as Nicaea. 
When the Empire of Roma was splited in 476 A.D. as East and West Roman Empires, Iznik remained in the borderlines of East Roman Empire known as Byzantium. Nikaia was restored by Byzantines. They built churchs, water channels and cisterns.
At the end of XI. Century, Selçuks had forwarded into the regions of the Byzantium. Kutalmışoğlu Süleyman Shah conquered the Nikaia in 1075 and change its name as Iznik and made the capital of the state of Selçuks. Thus Iznik became the first Turkish capital in the Anatolia. In 1079, the army of the First Crusaders besieged the city and Turks handed over Iznik to Byzantium to save the city from destruction. Seljukis were held the city for 22 years.
From the early days of Ottoman Empire, Iznik had always been wanted to conquer as a centre of attraction. At last Sultan Orhan Bey (1326-1362) conquered İznik in 1331. Thus the Turkish rule on Iznik was restored again after 234 years. The city was rebuilt especially by Sultan Murat II and Candarlilar. Mosques, religious schools, inns ahd hamams were built in this period. Iznik became one of the important centers of accomodation on the road between Istanbul and Anatolia. Iznik had an important place in the Turkish cultural life in 14. and 16. centuries. The well known scholars of the time had begun to teach in the theological schools of Iznik. Therefore the city became known as the “Home of the Learned.”
Iznik still preserves its characteristic of an open air museum. The city is full of archeological and etnographical remains from its Roman, Byzantium, Seljukian and Ottoman past.

City walls, Palace of Senatus, Obelisk, Ancient Roman Theatre, Berberkaya Mauseleum, Stone Bridge.

REMAINS OF BYZANTIUM PERIOD St Sophia Museum, Underground Tomb (Hypoge), Water Vaults, House of Baptism, Church of Koimesis, Church of Hagios Tryphon, Church of Ayatrifon. 
Green Mosque, Nilufer Hatun Imareti, Haci Ozbek Mosque, Seyh Kudbettin Mosque and Shrine, Esrefzade Mosque, Mahmut Celebi Mosque, Yakup Celebi Mosque, Orhan Gazi Mosque and Hamam, Suleman Pasha School, Ismail Bey Hamam, Murat II Hamam, Murat I Hamam, Konak Hamams, Kirgizlar Shrine, Sari Saltuk Shrine, Alaaddin-i Misri Shrine, Abdulvahab Sancaktari Shrine, Candarli Halil Hayrettin Pasha Shrine, Iznik Tile Owens, Namazgah, Esref Baba Shrine.