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a population center in northwestern Turkey, in the vilayet of Bursa, near the eastern shore of Lake İznik. Population, approximately 8,000.

The city was founded in the fourth century B.C. by the Macedonian king Antigonus I (reigned 306–301 B.C.) and was given the name Antigonia. The diadochos Lysimachus changed the city’s name to Nicaea (Greek, Nikaia). During the first century B.C. it came under Roman rule. From the end of the fourth century A.D. to the beginning of the 13th century the city was the most important trading, crafts, and cultural center of Byzantium. Ecumenical councils were held in Nicaea in 325 and 787. During the Arab-Byzantine wars of the seventh through tenth centuries the city was besieged twice by the Arabs, but they were unsuccessful. In 1081 it was captured by the Seljuks, and until 1097 it was the capital of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum. In 1097, during the First Crusade, the city was returned to Byzantium. During the period 1204–61 it was the capital of the Nicaean Empire. In the 14th century it was conquered by the Ottoman Turks (since that time it has been called İznik) and became the first residence of the sultan Orkhan (reigned 1324–59/60 or 1362). İznik began to decline in the middle of the 17th century, and by the middle of the 18th century its population had decreased from 10,000 to 1, 500.

Remnants of Hellenistic structures have been preserved (parts of the theater and the city walls with sections reconstructed during the medieval period). Among the well-known Byzantine structures are the churches of the Assumption (seventh and tenth centuries, mosaics from the seventh through ninth and 11th centuries; church is nonextant) and St. Sophia (eighth century, with murals from the 13th century). Among the Turkish monuments are mosques (Yeşil Cami, or the “Green Mosque,” 1379–93; Kutbeddin Pasha, 14th century), the imaret Nilüfer Hatun (1389), the madrasa of Suleiman Pasha (1336 [?]), and the mausoleum of Hayreddin Pasha (1379).


Otto-Dorn, K. Das islamische İznik. Berlin, 1941.
References in periodicals archive ?
Bringing back the stolen Iznik pottery to Turkey also took place in the agenda of a recent meeting between Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Ankara.
The celebrated 'RUM' tableware of Iznik is more delightful than that of China and even more beautiful.
The gardens depicted in miniature paintings are reflected in the formal floral imagery of Iznik ceramics.
They are described as 'Rhodian' ware, wrongly named after the Greek island where a large number of Ottoman Iznik ceramics were found.
While the most valuable lot of the sale is an example of pottery from the famed Iznik kilns (an early, albeit damaged, blue and white 'Golden Horn'jug of around 1535-45; estimate 250,000 [pounds sterling]-350,000 [pounds sterling]), a polychrome dish of around 1580 is one of the more unusual items offered.
Tolstoy's floral, rock and wave, and arabesque scrolls relate closely to Ottoman Iznik pottery, her figurative designs to Persian Safavid miniatures.
6 million USD for the privatization of Iznik Derekoy, Inegol-Cerrah and M.
The latest addition to the museum's small collection of Iznik ware, this splendid charger was made for the Ottoman court in Istanbul.
At the western end of Lake Iznik, 150 miles south of Istanbul, one of the world's largest agri-business giants has just sunk some US$90 million into a new plant -- much to the delight of the Turkish government.
The Venetian pattern book made for Elena Foscari of Venice in 1559 shows similar designs to those also seen on contemporary Iznik pottery made in Ottoman Turkey for Venetian and Dalmatian clients.