Sights of Turkey: what to see in Izmir - photos
Izmir is one of the oldest cities in the Mediterranean, known at least from the III Millennium BC Attractions of Izmir are closely associated with centuries of history and the present situation of the big city.
For much of its existence known as Smyrna, Izmir is now the third largest city of Turkey with a population of almost 3 million people.
Turkey: the architecture of Izmir
The turbulent history of Izmir suffered from wars and earthquakes, did not preserve the ancient buildings within the city itself. In the middle Ages the town changed hands from the Byzantines to the Turks and the crusaders, and in 1402 he was captured by Tamerlane. Finally, the Turks established in Smyrna only at the beginning of the XV century.
Especially the city suffered during the Massacres in Smyrna in 1922 when the Turkish army was almost completely destroyed the Christian population of the city. After these events, the city was renamed Izmir.
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Historical and cultural facilities - photo
The main asset of Smyrna — the debris of the ancient civilizationwho have spare time and turbulent history.
In the heart of modern Izmir preserved Agora of Smyrna — the remains of the ancient city. Agora was discovered in the nineteenth century, but excavations scientists began only in the 20-ies of XX century. Even now a large part of the Agora not excavated as it is right over the ancient buildings located in a modern building.
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What is now revealed to the world, is striking: the viewer is presented with the ancient market, surrounded by governmental and religious buildings. The age of buildings ranging from 1500 to 2500 years. And, although most of the buildings of the Agora is in ruins, preserved by the gallery with colonnades, gates, Basilica and part of the walls.
The fortress of Kadifekale is located in the centre of Izmir, 2 km from the shores of the Aegean sea. The fortress was built in the time of Alexander the great his companion, Lysimachus as a protective structure during a military conquest by the Macedonians in Asia. Later, the fortress was rebuilt by the Byzantines, and in the middle Ages here was located the crusaders.
The fortress is situated on the mountain Pagos height 155 m above sea level, so from the observation deck Kadifekale offers stunning views of the city and the sea. The fortress is the oldest Christian Church in Izmir is the Church. Polycarp.
One of the most famous architectural sights of Izmir — lift Asanserleading from the Jewish quarter of the city in located on a steep hill a quarter of Halil Rifat Pasha.
The lift is a 50-meter tower located inside the elevators. It was built in the early XX century at the expense of the Jewish banker Nazim Levi, in whose honour a plaque installed in the lower part of the tower. Constructed by French and Italian architects, the tower is still used as intended and has become one of the symbols of Izmir.
Konak squarelocated in the centre of Izmir, is one of the Central problems in the city. Special popularity the area has received through the clock tower, built in the early XX century in the tradition of Ottoman architecture.
Made of white marble the tower is especially good at night when its walls are highlighted with yellow lights. Due to its grace and beauty, the tower has become one of the symbols of Izmir.
Also survived 5 towers and the southern wall of the fortress. The total area of the fortress of Kadifekale — more than 6 km2.
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When Smyrna was a city with many temples, but most of them were lost. During the Massacre at Smyrna in 1922, when it was destroyed the Greek population of the city was destroyed 24 Orthodox temple of the city.
The Hisar mosque is the oldest Islamic temple of the city, built in the late XV century. The Hisar mosque, the largest city with a multimillion population. The greater part of its existence, the mosque was named Molla Yakup is in honor of the mullahs in which it was built. And the area around it was called Hisar on behalf of the medieval castle of the crusaders.
As often happened in the Ottoman Empire, the mosque was built on the site of the destroyed Christian churches. In the nineteenth century Hissar has been repeatedly reconstructed, as the building suffered from earthquakes. After a reconstruction in 1878, the mosque was expanded and largely acquired European architectural features: the interior received a decoration in the Baroque style, added arches, domed roof and the altar.
The fortress Kadifekale is the oldest surviving Christian churches in the city – Church. Polycarp. The temple got its name in honor of Bishop Polycarp, who was executed by the Romans in the II century ad According to legend, the fire spared the Holy well and Shrine named in his honor, had survived fires and massacres in 1922.
The temple was built in the early seventeenth century during the reign of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, in whose reign the Ottoman Empire reached the peak of its power. Now the Church belongs to the small Catholic community in the city.
Yala mosque was erected in the middle of the XVIII century in the classical Ottoman style. Like other buildings of the city, the mosque has repeatedly suffered from earthquakes and wars. Especially during the First world war, when the city was captured by Greece.
Finally Yala was restored in 1964 and it was restored to its original appearance: was restored to an authentic appearance of a mosque, with an octagonal cupola, re-built the minaret, exposed brick and stonework.
In General, after reconstruction, Hisar lost their authentic appearance, however, gained in originality and picturesqueness.
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Izmir is so "spoiled" the ancient heritage that can boast a particularly interesting modern monuments and statues. However, without Ataturk statue none of the big Turkish city.
Mustafa Kemal , known as atatürk ("father of all Turks") has played an important and positive for Turkey's role in the history of the city. It was under his leadership the Turks were able to retake the city, the Greek troops in 1922, otherwise history might have been quite different and now Smyrna had been a Greek city. The consequence of these events was the infamous Massacre in Smyrna.
Anyway, the merits of Mustafa Kemal to the Turkish state is indisputable. The Ataturk statue installed at the Republic square in the city centre. In the tradition of Ottoman sculpture of atatürk is depicted sitting on a horse.
A huge and ancient city can't do without interesting museums and Izmir is not here an exception. Not surprisingly, the main museums of Izmir, associated with its rich history.
Naval Museum, Inciralti is one of the youngest museums in the city. It was opened in 2007. This Museum acquaints visitors not only with the current state of the Turkish Navy, but also with the traditions of Ottoman seafaring, because in his time the Ottoman fleet for centuries, was the strongest in all the Mediterranean.
- The ethnographic Museum is located under the same roof with archaeological and, conveniently, both museums can be visited on one ticket. In the ethnographic Museum you can get acquainted with the culture and crafts of many Nations that left their mark in the history of Izmir and its environs: from the ancient Greeks, Macedonians and Romans to the Armenians, Turkic peoples and Jews.
Archaeological Museum of Izmir was founded in the early 20-ies of XX century. The Museum contains many artifacts found in the cultural layers of Ancient Smyrna and other Greek city of the Aegean coast. In the permanent exhibition of the Museum presents more than 1,500 exhibits, including crafts made from ceramic, stone, marble, metal and other materials.
Cultural diversity is also impressive: there were many types of art and architecture — from jewelry and statues to the burial slab and fragments of buildings in the form of capitals and stelae.
Special impression is a visit to two "floating branches" of the Museum: the former frigate and a submarine, turned into exhibits.
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Modern Izmir is a huge 3-million metropolis, so the natural attractions of the city, however. However, in the suburbs of Izmir, you can enjoy the beautiful nature of the Aegean coast.
Parks and forests
The Izmir — typical city of concrete and steel, so "nature" will have to go to the suburbs. Izmir is the Bird Paradise nature reserve, which is home to 450 species of birds. The reserve is situated in the Delta of the river Gediz, and among its types stand out pelicans and flamingos.
Also in the suburbs of Izmir is located in forest Park Forest Kent, one of the residents favorite places for walking and picnics.
Despite its coastal position, Izmir is not a resort town. However, to relax by the sea in its vicinity is quite possible.
The best beach is in the town of çeşme, located 88 km from Izmir.
Pirlanta Beach is a very large sandy beach, located in shallow water, so the rest here is especially useful with children due to the gradual increase in the depths of the sea.
Also good beaches in other resort towns near Izmir in foça, Seferihisar and Denizli.
Where else to go?
The Aegean coast of Turkey — one of the cradles of ancient Greek civilization. There are many antique citiesthat can be reached from Izmir: ancient Troy, Selcuk (Ayasoluk), Pergamon, Miletus, Sardis, Aphrodisias, and others. However, the most famous of the ancient Polis, near Izmir, the great city of Ephesus.
What to see by yourself in one day?
Ephesus is 80 km from Izmir and is included in the world heritage List of UNESCO. The city was founded by the military leader Alexander the great, Lysimachus and the ancient world famous for one of the Seven wonders of the world — the temple of Artemis, the ruins of which have survived to the present day.
Excavated in the XIX century, the city impresses with its preserved heritage: here you can admire several pagan temples, the library of Celsus, the Agora, two theatres (Large and Odeon), the House of virgin Mary Basilica. John and many other constructions associated with antiquity and the first centuries of the state.
This outdoor Museum is one of the most popular and famous attractions of Turkey.
Something to do with the kids?
One of the most remarkable places of Izmir — the city zoo, working with the mid 30-ies of XX century. The zoo is arranged by the European model: there are no cages and enclosures, and the animals visitors separated by natural hedges — ponds, thickets, etc.
In total, the zoo is home to more than 1.5 thousand individuals of almost 120 different species, including representatives of rare and endangered species. The zoo is located not in the heart of Izmir and its suburbs called Casali.
We encourage you to watch a video about interesting places in Izmir: