Once famous for figs, Izmir (formerly Smyrna), is now Turkey’s 3rd-largest city, the “capital” of the Aegean region, a major port and commercial center set dramatically around a huge bay and backed by mountains to the south. Once the ancient city of Smyrna, Izmir is now a modern, developed, and busy commercial center, set around a huge bay and surrounded by mountains. The broad boulevards, glass-fronted buildings and modern shopping centers are dotted with traditional red-tiled roofs, the 18th century market, and old mosques and churches, although the city has an atmosphere more of Mediterranean Europe than traditional Turkey.
Discover Izmir - Izmir Travel Guide - Tours in Izmir
Known in Turkish as “Beautiful Izmir” the city lies at the head of a long and narrow gulf furrowed by ships and yachts. The climate is mild and in the summer the constant and refreshing sea breezes temper the sun’s heat. Behind the palm-lined promenades and avenues which follow the shoreline, the city, in horizontal terraces, gently ascends the slopes of the surrounding mountains. Izmir is the third largest city in Turkey and its port is second only to Istanbul. A cosmopolitan and lively city all year round, Izmir bursts with an added vibrancy during the international Arts Festival (June/July) and the International Fair (August/September).
The ancient name is Smyrna, one of the most important cities of Ionian Federation during Hellenistic period, and it carried the same name in Roman times. The city is called Izmir after World War I so it has two different names ; Smyrna ancient one and Izmir at present.
Formerly called Smyrna, Izmir’s history dates to 3000 B.C. Archaeological remains show that the Trojans, Hittites and Lydians all had settlements in Izmir until it was taken by Greeks around 1000 B.C. The Romans built Izmir into an important trade center and the city fell under Byzantine control when the Roman Empire divided. Izmir changed hands several times until the Ottomans conquered it in 1426. The city was almost completely burned to the ground in 1922, when the Turks drove out the Greeks during the Turkish War of Independence.
2nd Church Of The Revelation
Smryna was the second church of Revelation in the time of St.John the Evangelist whom he paid a visit and gave a letter to the church elders as the warning of God. The church of Smryna is known poor church and Polycarp, one of the early believers of Jesus, was martyred in this city so the church was condemned by Jesus and advised to be faithful event in the point of death.
This Aegean city is young, hip and happening. With its youthful population and growing economy, Izmir’s reputation as a centre for commerce and tourism is growing. Turkey’s third largest city was once known as Smyrna, an ancient and powerful city. Packed full of mosques, traditional restaurants, fascinating museums, bazaars and historical sites, exploring Izmir will leave you reeling. This incredible city is pumping millions into its infrastructure and tourist industry, ensuring Izmir will, in the not too distant future, be one of Turkey’s tourism giants.
Things to See in Izmir
Turkey’s third-largest city is proudly liberal and deeply cultured. Garlanded around the azure-blue Bay of Izmir, it has been an important Aegean port since ancient times, when it was the Greek city of Smyrna, and its seafront kordon (promenade) is as fetching and lively as any in the world. The city’s rich and fascinating heritage reflects the fact that it has been the home of Greeks, Armenians, Jews, Levantines and Turks over the centuries. While not as multicultural these days, it still has resident Jewish and Levantine communities and its unique and delicious cuisine attests to this. Discover new places to see and unique things to do nearby Izmir.
Places to Visit Around Izmir
Ephesus & Kusadasi
Ephesus is an ancient Greek city founded around 3000 years ago. It is most famous for the Temple of Artemis, one of the seven ancient wonders of the world. It was also considered the home of Mary, mother of Jesus. Entry is 25tl but if you are interested in history Ephesus is a must see.
Pergamon Ancient City
Built on a conical hill rising 1,000 feet above the surrounding valley, Pergamum (also spelled Pergamon, from the Greek for “citadel”) was an important capital city in ancient times. Its modern successor is the Turkish city of Bergama. A lack of modern accommodations means that Bergama is often a very quick stop, if visitors bother to come at all. But it is worth a long stop, for Bergama is home to two of the country’s most celebrated archaeological sites: Pergamum’s Acropolis and Asklepion are both listed among the top 100 historical sites on the Mediterranean.
Not far from Ephesus is Sirince, a small Turkish village famous for its beautiful white houses and for making fruit wine which you can buy in shops around most of Turkey. Entry is free and you will be treated to many free glasses of wine to try as you walk around its streets. As it is very close to Ephesus it is recommended to see both these places in a one day trip. Here is professional Turkish tour guide Ms.Begum Hazal Demircan is explaining the history of lovely village Sirince to Television Malta who came to Turkey to shoot a documentary.
The area of Cesme is in the form of a peninsula that is to the west of Izmir. Cesme, which is located at the westernmost point of Turkey, has become one of the most popular holiday destinations in recent years. Located at approximately 80 km from Izmir, Cesme is an area that is very easy to reach thanks to the modern roadway network. The area, which has sunshine around 300 days of the year, is an important touristic destination. Furthermore, the thermal water that is available in almost no other holiday resorts is available in certain parts and facilities.