Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Iznik--or "Nicea" if you prefer

A sad piece in Turkey's part in the history of the "clash of civilisations" was when ignorant Greeks blew up the local mosque in Iznik during their brief occupation after World War One.

That in itself would have been a crime against religion--but to make matters worse (if such a thing were possible) the mosque they blew up was none other than the Church of Holy Wisdom (Hagia Sophia) in which the Second Ecumenical Council of Nicea (7th Ecumenical Council overall) was held in 787AD. Built by Justinian in the mid-6th Century, it was damaged by earthquakes and rebuilt in 1065AD. There is a good page of pictures at:

And just to prove that we are all human, when the Turks regained the city, they blew up the local Church that the Greeks had been using. All one can say is that they did a better job on the Church than the Greeks had done on the Mosque.

Here am I pondering all this inside Hagia Sophia.


At Friday, June 15, 2007 11:45:00 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had to get up at 7am, thanks to this post! It was because I had read it last night and in the early hours of this morning I was wondering how we are supposed to pronounce Hagia and hagiography.

I was wishing the dictionary was on the shelf outside my bedroom, where it used to be, rather than in the lounge.



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