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Sunken basilica from the 4th century will be opened to diving tourists - video

A sunken basilica from Roman times will be opened to divers as an underwater museum, it has been announced. The 4th century ruins, located 20 metres offshore in Turkey’s Lake Iznik, will now be a real attraction for any diver who happens to be in the area and wants an unusual history lesson. The mayor
Published: August 16, 2016 - 13:58
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 13:54
Sunken basilica from the 4th century will be opened to diving tourists – video

A sunken basilica from Roman times will be opened to divers as an underwater museum, it has been announced. The 4th century ruins, located 20 metres offshore in Turkey’s Lake Iznik, will now be a real attraction for any diver who happens to be in the area and wants an unusual history lesson.

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The mayor of the municipality of Bursa, Recep Altepe, said during an interview with journalists that now that the excavations and archaeological studies have been completed, the site will be open to visitors. The whole area has already been prepared for tourism, so the whole thing should go smoothly and quickly.

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Since the discovery of the ruins, a number of works have been carried out to remove sand from the interior of the building. As a result, fragments of mosaic on the floor have been uncovered and graves have been found.

“The history of these areas is gradually coming to light. We will do our best to enable people to learn about it and delve into the history dating back almost 2,000 years. Both Turkish and international tourists will be able to visit the remains of the basilica and see for themselves one of the most important sites for Christianity in the region.” – said Mayor Recep Altepe

The basilica is located in the north-west of Turkey, where it rests just below the surface of the water in Lake Iznik. The structure dates back to Byzantine times and found itself at the bottom of the lake as a result of earthquakes, which are not uncommon in this region. Its discovery was considered one of the ten most important archaeological discoveries of 2014.

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It all started with an aerial photo, taken as part of an inventory of monuments in the region. According to the information provided to the media, the first fragments of the ancient building could be seen in the water at a depth of 1.5-2m about 20m from the shore. Then, as the works were carried out, the hidden foundations were uncovered.

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The province of Bursa is one of the most important places for Christianity in all of Turkey. Iznik, called Nikaja or Nikea in ancient times, was the place where the first universal council was held. Interestingly, the ruins of the palace built by Constantine I the Great, where the council was held, are also located in the waters of the same lake.

Source: dailysabah.come

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Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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