Restoration of 1800-year-old Iznik Roman theater completed, reopens for tourism

Culture  |
Editor : Selin Hayat Hacialioglu
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After overcoming earthquakes and centuries of history, the Iznik Roman Theater and its fortified city walls emerge restored, blending architectural marvel with historical depth

Restoration of 1800-year-old Iznik Roman theater completed, reopens for tourism

The ancient Roman Theater of Iznik, dating back 1800 years, and the historic Istanbul and Yenisehir Gates have been reopened to the public after extensive restoration.

The Bursa Metropolitan Municipality spearheaded this significant development, marking a new chapter in preserving and celebrating Türkiye's rich historical heritage.

Constructed in the 2nd century A.D. by Roman Emperor Trajan for the historian and writer Pliny the Younger, then governor of Bithynia, the Iznik Roman Theater reflects the region's layered history, bearing the imprints of Macedonian, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman civilizations.

It is a significant remnant of the Roman Era in Anatolia, unique in its architectural design, built on flat terrain, and elevated with vaults.

The theater that was once a venue for gladiator fights later served religious purposes after Christianity.

It endured significant damage from major earthquakes in 358, 362, and 368 A.D. and has been restored several times throughout history.

Excavation and restoration efforts began in 1980, with intensified work under the leadership of Dokuz Eylul University's Department of Archaeology starting in 2015.

Alongside the theater, the restoration of Iznik's ancient city walls, initially built in the 4th century B.C. during the Bithynian period, has been completed.

The walls extended to 4,970 meters with four primary and 12 secondary gates after being fortified following Goth attacks in 258 A.D., have withstood numerous sieges and earthquakes over centuries.

This preservation effort, conducted by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Iznik Museum, adds another layer of historical depth to the region.

The reopening ceremony was attended by key officials, including the Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Abdulkadir Uraloglu, members of the Bursa Parliament, and local authorities.

Uraloglu highlighted Bursa's significance as a historical and transportation hub and commended the efforts made to preserve these landmarks.

Alinur Aktas, the Mayor of Bursa Metropolitan Municipality, underscored Iznik's cultural and historical importance and promised that the city would host various cultural events to showcase its heritage.

These restoration projects preserve monumental historical structures and enhance the region's appeal as a cultural tourism destination, offering a vivid window into Türkiye's diverse and storied past.

Source: Newsroom

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