Gate of Istanbul under restoration
BURSA - Doğan News AgencyRestoration work has been initiated in the 2,000-year-old Gate of Istanbul, the most magnificent part of the city walls in the northwestern city of Bursa’s İznik district.
İznik is one of the important pilgrimage centers for the world of Christianity as the 1st and 7th Ecumenical Councils were held there in 325 and 787 A.D. and was home to the Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman civilizations.
The project to turn the sunken basilica in the lake into a museum and others works in the ancient theater, tile furnaces, Abdulvahap Hill, khans and madrasahs have still been continuing in the city.
The restoration, carried out by the Bursa Metropolitan Municipality, is slated to cost 4.5 million Turkish Liras.
Works have been accelerated for İznik, the capital of the Eastern Roman and the Seljuk empires that hold great significance for both Muslims and Christians, to enter the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The Gate of Istanbul, which is 4,970 meters in total, with 12 secondary gates and 114 towers, which are 10-15 meters away from each other, features the delicacies of war and defense strategies of the era.
Built in the 1st century in the northern entrance of the ancient Nicaea, the Gate of Istanbul is the most magnificent gate of the city walls as it opens to Constantinople.
The gate has changed after undergoing many sieges, natural disasters and interventions through the centuries, but has survived until now. After the restoration process, the gate will become a unique work showing the traces of all those civilizations.
At a ceremony held to mark the beginning of the restoration, Bursa Mayor Recep Altepe said they accelerated works for the historical heritages in the city, which is a candidate for UNESCO.
“We are working on all historical artifacts from the Roman Theater to the Green Mosque. This is a long-time dream to revive the walls in İznik, which is known as a city of walls. We initiated works in the Gate of Istanbul. Following the first stage of works, all gates, walls and towers will have their unique identity,” he added.
İznik Mayor Osman Sargın said the city had Turkey’s longest city walls. “The cleaning of the walls is almost coming to an end. Those who will enter the walls in the south will be able to walk to the north easily in this historic atmosphere,” he added.