Iznik (Nicea) is a small town that was founded in 4BC on a large lake. In addition to holding Christian ecumenical councils in 325 and 787, there is a tradition of tile making. 16th century Iznik tiles have many similarities to Chinese tiles in terms of color and process, but traditionally they were less expensive than importing them from China.
We visited the Iznik Foundation and watched the workers decorate tiles by hand. Women carefully drew the patterns on the tiles in preparation for other workers to apply paint and color. The results were fantastic.
Later, we saw the finished products. The Foundation is committed to maintaining the traditional processes of hand work, and the cost of the tiles and other ceramic objects reflect this. However, each tile is unique and the colors and designs are great.
We also visited the 14th century Green Mosque in Iznik and the Roman city walls. The details of these structures attracted me – and you can see this in the photographs. On the way back to Istanbul, we rode the ferry to save time, and being on the water helps to understand the history of this ancient country.