We had just put the article on "Isnik - the ancient Byzantine Nikaia" online when we were surprised by the news that Turkish researchers probably discovered the actual meeting place of the first Christian Council of Nicaea with the help of aerial photographs.
Probably due to the low water level, as is currently the case in many lakes and reservoirs due to the low rainfall this winter, the remains of a basilica in Lake Iznik were clearly visible. The lake, located south of Istanbul, is otherwise considered a local recreation area for the big city. The Turkish state television TRT has now also reported on the sensational find.
As already reported, the first Ecumenical Council met here in the year 325 in what was then called Nicaea, at which, among other things, the Christian creed, which is still valid today, was formulated. From ancient records the site of the council is known as the Senate Palace, the remains of which are now believed to be in the lake. One of the archaeologists involved reported that the remains of the basilica would lie in about two meters of water about 20 meters from the shore. If it is the Senate palace described in the records, the building probably dates from the fourth century and was destroyed in a great earthquake in 740.
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