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'Gate of Constantinople' at Nikaia to be restored


Restoration work has been initiated on the 'Gate of Constantinople' (Turkish İstambul Kapisi), the most magnificent part of the city walls in the northwestern city of İznik (Greek Nikaia) located in northeastern Turkey.

'Gate of Constantinople' at Nikaia to be restored
Aerial view of the Gate of Constantinople at Iznik (Nikaia) [Credit: DHA]
Nikaia is one of the important pilgrimage centres for the world of Christianity as the 1st and 7th Ecumenical Councils were held there in 325 and 787 AD. The city was captured from the Byzantines in 1331 by Orhan I and for a short period the town became the capital of the expanding Ottoman emirate.

The restoration project, carried out by the Bursa Metropolitan Municipality, to turn the sunken basilica in the lake into a museum and others works in the ancient theatre, tile furnaces, Abdulvahap Hill, khans and madrasahs have been continuing in the city.

Works have been accelerated for Nikaia, the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire that holds great significance for Christians and Muslims alike, to enter the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The Gate of Constantinople, which is 4,970 metres in length, with 12 secondary gates and 114 towers, which are 10-15 metres away from each other, features the delicacies of war and defense strategies of the era.

'Gate of Constantinople' at Nikaia to be restored
The Gate of Constantinople at Iznik (Nikaia), 2008 [Credit: WikiCommons]
The Gate of Constantinople, which was the central gate of Nikaia, is the most magnificent gate of the city walls as it opens to Constantinople.

The gate has changed after undergoing many sieges, natural disasters and interventions through the centuries, but has survived until now. After the restoration process, the gate will become a unique work showing the traces of both the Greek and Ottoman civilizations.

At a ceremony held to mark the beginning of the restoration, Bursa Mayor Recep Altepe said they accelerated works for the historical heritages in the city, which is a candidate for UNESCO. 

“We are working on all historical artefacts from the Roman Theatre to the Green Mosque. This is a long-time dream to revive the walls in İznik, which is known as a city of walls. We initiated works in the İstambul Kapisi. Following the first stage of works, all gates, walls and towers will have their unique identity,” he added.

İznik Mayor Osman Sargın said the city had Turkey’s longest city walls. “The cleaning of the walls is almost coming to an end. Those who will enter the walls in the south will be able to walk to the north easily in this historic atmosphere,” he added.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News [April 05, 2017]
TANN

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