The Historic Town of Iznik (Nicaea) Located in northwestern Turkey, Iznik is a historic town situated on the shore of Lake Iznik, just 77 kilometers northeast of central Bursa. With its significance in early Christian history, Iznik, formerly known as Nicaea, was the site of the First and Second Councils of Nicaea which set the foundations of Christianity, including the Nicene Creed and the role of icons in Christianity. Throughout its history, Iznik played an important role in the hands of various empires. It was claimed by one of Alexander the Great's generals in 316 BC, served as the capital of the Seljuk Turks for a brief period in the 11th century, and was the Byzantine emperors' capital-in-exile in the 13th century when Constantinople was under Crusader rule. The Ottomans captured Iznik in 1331 and its popularity grew with the production of colorful tiles that remain unmatched to this day. While the town may not appeal to all travelers as a site-seeing destination, those with an appreciation for the remnants of Western culture will be delighted. Visitors can explore the preserved segments of the Roman-Byzantine walls that once surrounded the entire town, and view the various gates and portions of the embattlements that still exist today, such as the Istanbul gate located in the northern section of town. Another must-see attraction in Iznik is the Aya Sofya, a church converted into a mosque during the Justinian era, which still contains some preserved mosaics and frescoes inside. During the Ottoman era, Iznik became renowned for its remarkable tile art, which was used in many famous mosques in Istanbul and other cities. Today, the town's ceramic industry has been revived and visitors can browse handmade tiles and other crafts in shops located in the town center.