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Iznik Museum

The museum is housed in the Nilüfer Imaret, the open hall in front was a new element in late-Seljuk architecture, taken from the Byzantine style. Founded by Murat I in memory of his mother, Nilüfer Hatun.

The building to the left is dedicated to Şeyh Kutbuddinzade Mehmet Izniki, who died in 1418 and who was an important scientist. His most important work is the first Turkish catechism. It was being restored last time around, but in 2007 in looked, hm, brand new.

The complex was built in 1388, and is also referred to (depending on the source) as ‘Misafirhane’ (guest house) or ‘Zaviye’ (dervish lodge) as well as ‘Imaret’ (soup kitchen). The typical use of alternating layers of brick and stone, although decorative, was a measure of economy practiced by Byzantine builders, long before Ottomans adopted it too. The building was restored in 1955 and opened as a museum in 1960.
Notable is also that Nilufer Hatun (mother of Murat I) was the daughter of a Christian (Byzantine) baron, a woman of strong personality, who was regent when Orhan (Murat’s father) was away on campaign.

Correspondent: J.M.Criel, Antwerpen.
Sources: ‘Türkiye Tarihi Yerler Kılavuzu’ – M.Orhan Bayrak, Inkılâp Kitabevi, Istanbul, 1991 & Wikipedia .