Izmir is situated on the coast of the Aegean, at the end of a gulf to which it gaves its name, Izmir is the third largest city of Turkey. It is the industrial and commercal centre of the Aegean and is used as a harbour for exporting goods.
The city’s population has reached 2.5 million people. Its modern suburban areas such as Konak, Karsiyaka, Alsancak, and Bostanlı, the beauty of its hot springs, and the promenades at kordonboyu, Balcova, abd the Cultural Park, its 60 years hosting the International Trade Exhibition, and its proximity to the Aegean’s historic and tourist regions, have made Izmir a very active city. The region around the gulf Izmir is an area in which important historic settlements have been found. Klezomenai, which is also the birthplace of the famous thinker, Anaxagoras, is set on island infront of the Urla pier, one of Izmir’s subur bus. It had its heyday in the Classical era of the Hellenic civilisation (4800-334 BC). However, the remains that have reached to our day are very few. Erythrai, one of the important cities of Ion, is situated in the area of today’s Ildir village, which is near Cesme Ilicasi ( a hot spring); Today, only the remains of the city wall, acropolis, and the theatre in the north of the acropolis can be seen. Teos was the richest and most powerful city of the twelve cities of Ion. It is found 2 km south of the charming little town of Sicacik, which is part of the Seferihisar suburb.
The most significant ruion of teos, is the Dionysos Temple. Some pieces belonging to the temple are exhibited in the Iznik Museum. The other historic cities are the Ionic cities of Kolophon, situated near the Cuma plain, the harbour city Notions, and with its famous Apollo Temple, the city of Klaros. Of these cities only traces of walls, pieces of columns and the foundations of the temple have lasted up to our day.
Places To Visit ;
Izmir Archaeological Museum is located on Halil Rifat street in Konak district, and has exhibition halls, laboratories, warehouses, photography rooms, libraries, and conference halls cover an area of 5000 square meters, with over 1500 artifacts on display. In the collection there are findings from ancient city of Smyrna as well as from surrounding ancient sites such as Iasos, Pitane (Candarli), Pergamon, Myrina and Kyme (Aliaga), Ephesus, Larissa and Gryneion (Menemen), Kolophon, Teos (Seferihisar), Klazomenai (Urla), Foca, Metropolis, and Lebedos. The museum is open everyday except Mondays.
Ethnographical Museum is next to the Archaeological museum and housing to cultural objects from daily social life of Anatolian people housed in a 19th century Neoclassical building as well as many models of extinct or near extinct handicrafts due to the industrialization, such as; tinsmith, clog making, pottery, blue bead making, wood imprinting, carpet weaving, rope making, felts mithery and saddlery.
Ataturk Museum is a Neoclassic style four-storey building on Ataturk Avenue in Alsancak district. Ataturk and Ismet Pasha stayed here for a while, during their visit to Izmir on 16th of June 1926.
Ahmet Piristina Museum of Metropolitan History and Archiveis located in the old Fire Department office and dedicated to Mr. Ahmet Piristina, former Head of Izmir Municipality who died in 2004.
Selcuk Yasar Museum of Arts is named after Selcuk Yasar, one of the well-known businessman of Izmir, and there are various interesting paintings on display.The museum is open between 10 am to 7 pm, except on Sundays.
Museum of History and Art was opened to public in 2004 at Kultur park for the exhibition of artifacts collected during excavations in and near Izmir.
Museum of Arts and Sculpture is also inside the Kultur park and has many paintings, statues and ceramic works on display.
Railroad Museum is located in a four-floor stone building across the Alsancak train station.
Museum of Commercial History is the first commercial history museum in Turkey. The entrance to the museum is free of charge.
Umran Baradan Museum of Toys and Games is located in Varyant neighborhood of Konak district, in a mansion donated by Umran Baradan for this purpose. There are about one thousand pieces including wooden toys, small soldiers, miniature horses, toy cars, ships, tops, babies and many other old toys displayed in the museum, played by the Turkish children in the past, some of them dating back to 1860’s.
Clock Tower is located at Konak Square as a landmark of Izmir. It was built by architect Raymond Charles Pere in 1901 to commemorate 25th year of enthronement of Ottoman sultan Abdulhamit I and has fountains on four sides.
Agora is the ancient market place, built in the 4th century BC to the north of Mt .Pagos (Kadifekale).
Tepekule (Smyrna) is the area of the first settlement of ancient Smyrna, dating back to 3000 BC.
Kadifekale (Pagos) is the castle with its five towers and southern walls, was restored several times by Byzantines, Seljuks, and finally Ottomans.
Kizlaragasi Han is an Ottoman building in Kemeralti neighborhood and was built by Kizlaragasi Haci Besir Aga in the 18th century as a caravanserai. It’s used as a handicrafts sales center today.
Hisar Mosque is one of the oldest monuments of the city built by Aydinoglu Yakup Bey towards the end of 16th century and located in the Kemeralti market area.
Originally built around 17th century right behind the harbor, Kemeralti Market is located in Konak district and it is the famous local shopping market in Izmir.
Havra Street is an important street in Kemeralti neighborhood which got its name from many Jewish synagogues (Havra in Turkish) that were built here.
Beth Israel Synagoguewas built in 1905 by Nisim Levi in the Karatas quarter where an important Jewish community lived at the beginning of the 20th Century.
Anglican Churchis the first Anglican church in Izmir which was built around 1625 by British Levantines of Smyrna.
Saint Polycarp Churchis the oldest Christian church in Izmir which was built in 1625 with the permission of Sultan Suleyman of the Ottoman Empire and by the wish of King of France Louis 13th. It was dedicated to St. Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, who was martyred by Romans in 155 AD, near Kadifekale.
Asansor (Elevator) is an elevator tower which was built in 1907 and worth to see if you visit Izmir.