The theater, which also hosted gladiator fights for a while, was used as a religious area after the ban of the theater after Christianity. The building, which was damaged and repaired during the great earthquakes of 358, 362 and 368, was sacrificed for the defense of Iznik, while the pieces taken from the theater were used to strengthen the walls.
Excavations in the Roman Theater, where works first started in 1980 with the permission of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, have been carried out since 2015 by the team led by the Department of Archeology of Dokuz Eylül University, with the involvement of the Metropolitan Municipality. Dokuz Eylül University of Archeology Department Faculty Member Assoc. dr. It is chaired by Aygün Ekin Meriç.
“IT WILL BE POSSIBLE TO SEE ALL LAYERS IN ONE BUILDING”
In the statement, Assoc. Dr. Meriç stated that according to historical records, the Roman theater was built in the 2nd century. Meriç stated that during the excavations they found ceramics dating back to the 6th century BC, saying:
“The existence of life was determined here even before the theater was built. There is not just a theater here. There is a before and after, there is a church, we have 8 Ottoman tile kilns. I see this place as the hill from Iznik From the 6th century BC to the 17th century BC This area has a continuous use in a phase dating back to the 19th century.
The restoration was carried out with contributions from the Metropolitan Municipality and its implementation was completed. The intention is that the project will be completed at the end of this year and the theater will open to visitors. With this project it is possible to see all layers of Iznik in one structure. When you enter, you first see the theater and then the religious use phase. You can see the church structure and tile kilns here. The theater is also very important to show the whole historical process of Iznik. People come to the theater now, they go on tour. They will also see our excavations around the theater in the back.”
“THIS WILL BE İZNİK’S MAIN CENTER OF ATTRACTION”
The mayor of Bursa metropolitan municipality, Alinur Aktaş, also examined the ongoing works at the historic Roman theater of Iznik with the mayor of Iznik, Kağan Mehmet Usta.
About the restoration project, the implementation of which is in the completion phase, Assoc. Dr. Aktaş received information from Meriç and recalled that the work continues under the project approved by the Bursa Cultural Heritage Preservation Regional Board. Aktas, Roman Theater of Iznik Pointing out that the existing stairway, stage area and other building debris in the project have been cleared of negative interventions and additions, he said:
“In the Roman theater, which has been brought to Iznik tourism for many years, a tour route has been created for local and foreign tourists to visit the area. The viewing platform at the top of the seating staircase has been created and the area can be clearly seen. Freezing operations, joint works, viewing platform and tourist route have been created. We aim to complete the works by December. It will be one of the most ambitious amphitheaters in Turkey in terms of visits and will be the main attraction center of Iznik. We are delighted to announce this wonderful investment together, not only for Iznik and our country, but also for humanity, for the whole world. we live.”