Architectural features of Nicaea’s city walls and It’s conservation problems
Kuleli, Ayşe Esin
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Nicaea is an important ancient city with its monuments and archaeological sites dated to the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman periods. During the period of Pax Romana (Roman Peace. 27 BC-180 BC), the city of Iznik did not need a defense system. In this period, the monumental gates symbolizing the entrance to the city had grid plan of Hellenistic period, were built at the end of the main road axes of the city in the east, west, south and north directions (A.D. 78-79). After the attacks of Goths occurred in 256 or 257, a city wall decided to be built as a defense structure. The construction of the walls was completed in the period of Gallienus (253-268) and Gothicus (268-269). In the late period, Lascaris (1205- 1222), Vatatzes (1222-1254) carried out important interventions for protection of the city by building outer walls outside of the main walls. In 1330, Nicaea was conquered by the Turkish Sultan Orhan. In the historical process, the walls were repaired periodically and each period reflects its marks on the wall. The fortification of Nicaea lost their protection function, especially with the effect of changing the socio-economic structure of the city starting from the 20th century. The growth of the city became inevitable and the city walls ceased to be the elements forming the boundaries of the city. The walls were damaged due to earthquakes, human influences and the need for new transportation networks of the city. In this period, some parts of the walls were completely demolished in line with the needs of the period. This paper aims to share information about the architectural features of Nicaea's city walls and its conservation problems.