Turks are proud of İznik's Ottoman tile-making tradition, though its Byzantine incarnation as Nicaea was more significant – church councils in this fortress town shaped the future of all Christianity (see following). Sadly, modern socio-political trends have suppressed this heritage, and İznik today lingers as a run-down collection of tile shops, teahouses and handicraft parlors, though the fortress ruins and lakeside setting make visiting worthwhile.
İznik destination guides
Small-Group Tour: Bursa Day Trip from Istanbul
Visit the birthplace of modern Turkish culture and the first capital of the Ottoman State on a day trip from Istanbul to the city of Bursa. Visit the Green Mosque (Yesil Camii) and the neighboring Green Mausoleum (Yesil Turbe), both world renowned for their superb tile decoration, and head to the 14th-century Great Mosque (Ulu Cami), where local Muslims worship.