Mustafa Sahin, the head of archaeology at Bursa Uludag University, Turkey had never thought that his quest to find a church that was reportedly built around AD 390 would be submerged in a lake. During his field survey in Iznik, the western tip of Turkey, Sahin was trying to find this ancient church at the shore of Lake Iznik.
According to Travel+Leisure, the church is said to have been built by the Romans in Nicaea, an ancient city in north-western Anatolia and is suggested that a massive earthquake around AD 740 caused the destruction of the church, after which the entire city sank under the lake. Reportedly, Sahin and local government leader Alinur Aktas have called this discovery as Turkey’s first underwater archaeological museum.
However, this is not the first time one such discovery has turned out to be an amazing underwater museum. Back in 2017, Europe’s first underwater contemporary art museum, Museo Atlantico, opened its doors for the public. Situated just off the coast of Lanzarote, in the Bahía de Las Coloradas, Canary Island in Spain, people had to dive 12 meters underwater to experience the amazing world.
The project consisted of 12 art installations and more than 300 life-size human figures, created by renowned British sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor. Taylor is an internationally acclaimed sculptor who creates underwater living installations, offering viewers mysterious, ephemeral encounters and fleeting glimmers of another world where art develops from the effects of nature on the efforts of man.
Museo Atlántico has been conceived as a place to promote education and preserve and protect the marine and natural environment as an integral part of the system of human values.