Lake İznik (Redirected from Lacus Ascania)

Lake İznik
View from space
Lake İznik is located in Turkey
Lake İznik
Lake İznik
LocationBursa Province
Coordinates40°26′N 29°31′E / 40.43°N 29.52°E / 40.43; 29.52
Basin countriesTurkey
Max. length32 km (20 miles)
Max. width10 km (6.2 miles)
Surface area298 km2 (115 sq mi)
Max. depth80 m (260 ft)
Surface elevation85 m (279 ft)

Lake İznik (Turkish: İznik Gölü) is a freshwater lake in the Province of Bursa, Turkey. It is around 32 km in length and 10 km in width with a maximum depth of about 80 m. The town of Iznik (historically known as Nicaea) lies at its eastern end. The lake's Ancient Greek name was Askania (Ἀσκανία); the Latin name was Ascania.


In Greek mythology, during the Trojan War the region by Lake İznik was held by the Phrygians, who sent troops to the aid of King Priam, led by the brothers Phorcys and Ascanius, sons of Aretaon as related in the Iliad.

Ascanius, son of Aretaon, should not be confused with Ascanius (son of Aeneas) or Ascanius (son of Priam), who also feature in legends of the Trojan War.

In the 1920s, the region was known for rice production.

In 2014, during aerial photography to survey the local monuments, the remains of an underwater Byzantine basilica -possibly erected in the 4th century- were identified, a discovery which was named one of the top 10 discoveries by the Archaeological Institute of America. The basilica was dedicated to St. Neophytos of Nicaea and it is thought that the effects of an earthquake which took place in A.D. 740 provoked its collapse. Plans are on the way to establish an underwater museum.


Lake Iznik has a salinity of 0.05 to 0.10 %, not enough to be tasted by humans. It cannot therefore be classified as a saltwater lake, but may be described as freshwater, brackish or subsaline.

Important Bird Area

The lake, which is in unprotected status, was declared by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area in 1989 for its waterfowl species, which are threatened through pollution and development of İznik as a recreational center.

İznik and Lake


This page was last updated at 2024-04-17 16:56 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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