Lonely Planet Writer

Turkey eyes lake island for underwater basilica

Underwater archaeological work has begun on a sunken 1600-year-old basilica in Turkey’s Lake İznik, with the aim of opening up the area for tourism.

Lake İznik, Turkey.
Lake İznik, Turkey. Image by Dennis Jarvis / CC BY-SA 2.0

A team of 25 specialists intends to document the Roman-era basilica and search the area for further relics. Once the area has been fully explored, Turkey’s Culture & Tourism Ministry hopes to make the site accessible by creating an island in the lake so that the remains can be visited. The basilica was discovered last year in in Turkey’s northwest while the surrounding area was being photographed from the air.  It is thought the building collapsed during an earthquake that hit İznik in 740 AD. Read more: hurriyetdailynews.com