Izmir

“Princess of Victor Hugo”

Portrayed by 19th century French poet Victor Hugo as “princess”, Izmir (formerly known as Smyrna) is a rooted city that has once been inscribed on ancient coins and a young, dynamic metropolis simultaneously.

Izmir, with its 8,500 years of history encompassing 3,500 years of recorded urban history and it is a metropolis in the west of Turkey. Izmir has many tangible and immaterial cultural resources, cultural events and many fairs.  Persians, Greeks, Assyrians, Romans, Byzantines and Ottomans are only a few of the dozens of civilizations that Izmir has hosted throughout its long history. This historical background gives the chance to developed cultural tourism also city tourism.

Cultural resources spread all over of Izmir. Izmir has many cultural tourism attractions all around such as Ephesus, Virgin Marry House, etc. in southern area of Izmir; Pergamon and Asklepion cultural heritage area in northern region of Izmir, immaterial cultural resources such as handcrafts and traditional cuisine and historical architectural area such as Birgi in eastern region of Izmir.  Many cultural resources also are in city centre together, especially Konak district contains iconic structures are cultural heritage areas such as Agora of Smyrna, Relief areas (Churches, Synagogues, Mosques), the number 3 is Kemeraltı Bazaar Area, the number 7 is Konak square and Clock Tower, the number 12 is relief region (Church of Saint Vukulos), the number 16i is Kadifekale. Konak also has Kulturpark and the Historical Towngas Factory as a multifunctional public area. Historical Towngas Factory is a symbol of changing of industrial production area for Izmir. İt was a factory in the past in city centre, after the deindustrialization process old factory has been turned the meeting place, open air cinema area and workshops places. This is the example of creative turn for Izmir.

The Clock Tower, which is a symbol of Izmir, is located at Konak Square, and is a favourite meeting place for residents and tourists. Because Konak square is neighbourhood of main commercial areas as in the past. It has historic and modern shopping centres. For example Kemeraltı,  Konak Pier.  Do you know that Konak Pier was designed by Gustav Eiffel? “Kemeraltı”. This bazaar is unique, because it has other many cultural attractiveness its inside such as traditional products, dress, spices so on, belief areas (synagogues, mosques) and some examples of historical commercial architecture such as Kızlaragası Inn. “Kızlaragası Inn”. Kızlaragası Inn is an example of Ottoman architecture as commercial and social life area. It is attractive with its architecture, traditional Turkish coffee shops and silver shops, it is leisure and shopping area for citizens and tourists. Furthermore, Kemeraltı is neighbourhood of Agora that is the best preserved and largest Roman Agora as a cultural heritage. “’Agora’ etymologically, means city square, shopping centre. It was also the place where the foundations of philosophy were laid”. Furthermore, Kemeraltı has many restaurants that have traditional cuisine, Turkish deserts and aperitifs as street food, patisserie where offer unique foods of Izmir.

Alsancak and Kordonboyu are leisure areas and also meeting area for citizen and tourists. Also, the Kulturpark has green areas in inside, it has also some workshops and organization place, fair halls, amusement park.   Alsancak show its creative potential with by its colourful art streets, boutique restaurants and cafes. You can have coffee or some Turkish tastes in this nice district, enjoy your vacation in Izmir.

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