Isparta (Greek: Σπάρτη, also Baris/Βάρις in Byzantine Greek) is a city in western Turkey and the capital of Isparta Province. The city's population was 222,556 in 2010 and its elevation is 1035 m. It is also known as the "City of Roses".
Süleyman Demirel University has introduced thousands of youths from various backgrounds to the city's mostly conservative fabric in the recent years. The city's football team, Ispartaspor, currently plays in Group 7 of the Turkish Regional Amateur League.
Isparta is well-connected to other parts of Turkey via roads. Antalya lies 130 km to the south and Eskişehir is 350 km to the north.
Isparta corresponds to the ancient city of Baris, which (has a namesakes and) was part of the Roman province of Pisidia. At an early stage it became a Christian bishopric, a suffragan of the Metropolitan see of Antioch of Pisidia, the capital of the province. The names of two of its bishops are known with certainty: Heraclius participated in the First Council of Nicaea in 325, and Leo in the Second Council of Nicaea in 787. In addition, Paulus was at the Council of Constantinople (869) and Stephanus was at the Council of Constantinople (879), but one or both of these may have been of the Baris in the Roman province of Hellespontus. Like most sees in Asia Minor, it faded.1203: Conquered by the Seljuq Turks.
Late 13th century: Becomes part of the Hamidids.
1381: Isparta is sold to the Ottoman sultan Murad I by the Hamidid Emir.
Late 19th century: Muslim refugees from the Balkans settle around Isparta. The Bulgarian refugees brought the knowledge of kazanlik rosewater production with them, leading to Isparta's nickname city of roses.
On November 30, 2007, Atlasjet Flight 4203 crashed on approach to Isparta Süleyman Demirel Airport, killing all 57 passengers and crew.
The city lies close to a fault line and is thus prone to violent earthquakes. Some historical buildings and houses remain from the 19th century, but are rare compared to the number of modern buildings. There are several important mosques in Isparta, including the pre-Ottoman Hızır Bey Mosque (c. 1325), the Kutlubey or Ulu (Grand) Mosque (1429, with major restorations made in the 19th century) and Hacı Abdi Mosque (1569). The city also boasts a mosque by the Ottoman Royal Architect Mimar Sinan - the 16th century's Firdevs Pasa mosque. This mosque is also known as Mimar Sinan Mosque. There are several remains of Greek Orthodox churches from the Byzantine and Ottoman periods (14th-19th century). The Byzantine fortress is mostly in ruins.
No longer a residential bishopric, Baris in Pisidia is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular bishopric, nominal suffragan of Nicomedia, since the diocese was nominally restored in 1933. Latin adjective Baren(us) in Pisidia (Latin).
It is vacant since decades, having had the following incumbents, so far of the fitting Episcopal (lowest) rank : Alfred Bertram Leverman (1948.04.24 – 1953.07.27) as Auxiliary Bishop of Halifax (Canada) (1948.04.24 – 1953.07.27); later Bishop of Saint John, New Brunswick (Canada) (1953.07.27 – 1968.09.07), emeritate as Titular Bishop of Altava (1968.09.07 – death 1972.04.28)
José de Almeida Batista Pereira (1953.12.22 – 1955.11.07) as Auxiliary Bishop of Niterói (Brazil) (1953.12.22 – 1955.11.07), Bishop of Sete Lagoas (Brazil) (1955.11.07 – 1964.04.02), Bishop of Guaxupé (Brazil) (1964.04.02 – retired 1976.01.16); died 2009
António Cardoso Cunha (1956.03.09 – 1967.01.10), first as Auxiliary Bishop of Beja (Portugal) (1956.03.09 – 1965), then as Coadjutor Bishop of Vila Real (Portugal) (1965 – 1967.01.10), next succeeded as Bishop of Vila Real (1967.01.10 – retired 1991.01.19), died 2004.
The main economic activities of Isparta are the production of rose water and handmade carpets. Tourism, both local and increasingly international due to "biblical tourism", is also becoming an important source of revenue for the city.
In the early 20th century, carpetmaking was a major industry in Isparta.
Isparta has a climate type between Mediterranean (Köppen climate classification: Csa) and Central Anatolia's typical climate type (Köppen climate classification: Dsa). Winters are cool and rainy, summers are hot and dry. The lakes around the city have important influence on the climate. Rainfall occurs mostly in January and December in a year. Monthly rainy days reduce until August. Rainy days increase again with September.
People from and related to IspartaZeki Demirkubuz, film director, screenwriter, producer and film editor.
Süleyman Demirel, former prime minister and president of Turkey, was born in the village of Islamköy close to Isparta.
Said Nursî, Islamic thinker. Spent the last decade of his life in this city.
Bora Maviş, summiter of Mount Everest.
Mustafa Doğan, footballer.
Hussein Avni Pasha, Ottoman Grand Vizier
Halil Hamid Pasha, Ottoman Grand Vizier
Isparta is twinned with: