Iznik

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Iznik. A small place with a huge history. Formerly known as Niceea/ Nikaia, home to the Iznik tiles that Mimar Sinan made famous by using them inside the Blue Mosque. Former Byzantine city, enclosed by thick walls that are still standing today. Conquered by the Ottomans, who preserved some of the old art and monuments. Two Christian/Roman churches survived as ruins. Another one was saved by its early transformation into a mosque.
Small and quiet town on the banks of the Iznik Lake, at the foot of the Iznik/Flag Hill.
A few schools; windows and balconies with roses and geraniums, a few mosques, a few restaurants. Calls to prayer five times a day, people fasting for Ramadan. Friendly women who welcome us to their town. Outgoing ceramic artists, who don’t hesitate to show us the secrets of their craft, even if at the end we leave the shop empty-handed.
Archaeology and daily life. A column with a gorgeous capitel fallen on the side. Somebody has built a house with bricks taken from the old Roman Theatre. A skeleton was dug out in the process. Past and present.
The past is quiet; the present – respectful.
„In a small town, many mouths talk, but only a few heads think.” In Iznik, when they talk to us, it’s to say welcome and please and here you are, or to apologize that they cannot serve us the world’s most wanted „peymacun” (cheese pita) before sunset.

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