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Izmir Sights and Landmarks Guide, Turkey

Located on the shores of the Aegean Sea, Izmir is Turkey’s third largest city (after Istanbul and Ankara), with a population of more than 2.6 million. Over its 3 and a half millennia of existence, the port of Izmir gained international attention, being known as Smyrna (it only changed its name to Izmir in the 20th century) or “The Pearl of the Aegean”.

Izmir Sights – Museums and Historic Sites

Traces of Izmir’s rich past are still visible today, as archeological investigations revealed numerous historic sites. The affirmation that present Izmir lies on top of centuries of history is by no mans an exaggeration. As archeologists dig back to pre-Hellenistic Age, the Tomb of Tantalus is already on display, not to mention the impressive ruins of the old Smyrna Agora, a Roman legacy, that have been transformed into the Agora Open Air Museum. Nevertheless, for a deeper understanding of the city’s history, a visit to one of its numerous museums is highly recommended. Archeological Museum, Ethnographical Museum, Museum of History and Art, Museum of Commercial History or Ahmet Piristina Museum of Metropolitan History and Archive are just some of the most popular Izmir sights. But the number one historical attraction on the list is situated 70 km from Izmir, and consists in the ruins of the ancient city of Ephesus, which hosted one of the 7th wonders of the ancient world, the Temple of Artemis.

Izmir Sights – Architecture and Monuments

Much of Izmir’s architecture reflects the city’s cosmopolitanism, starting with Turkish baths and bazaars (Kemeralti is the mane of the market district) and ending with the synagogues of a still numerous Jewish community (most of them can be found along Havra Street). The most famous between Izmir sights, a marble Clock Tower that guards the city centre was designed by a French architect in 1901. The historic district of Izmir, known as the Konak starts at the shore of the Aegean and climbs uphill, encompassing most of the city’s administrative buildings, cultural institutions, shops and restaurants. Some of Izmir most distinctive features are the Kulturpark, a vast area of green right in the centre of the city, and the Izmir Bird Paradise, a natural reservation were 205 species of domestic and wild birds can be admired. The Kadifekale Castle and the Asansor (old elevator), will provide the most astonishing panoramic views over the city. Many tourists come to Izmir during the annual music festivals, like the Izmir European Jazz Festival and International Izmir Festival, as well as during the frequent fairs, culminating in September with the Izmir International Fair.

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  • AnonymousThe Big Statue of Attaturk
    travel tip by Anonymous posted more then 30 days ago
    When you head into Izmir, you might wander why because it's not really a sight seeing place. But don't worry, if you head to the water and walk along the beach you will find a giant statue of Attaturk that looks over a skateboard park!...
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