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Tourist Places To Visit In Izmir
Izmir is the beautiful seaside city of Turkey located on the Aegean coast. The city is made up of many districts out of which Konak is considered as the commercial city centre. The city is about 5000 years old and has a very rich history. It is also the birthplace of the famous poet Homer and is an important centre for arts, culture, trade and tourism. It has a population of about 4 million which makes it the 3rd most populated city in Turkey. There are plenty of tourist places to visit in Izmir due to its vast history - from the ruins of the Roman period to the architecture of the Ottoman rule and the modern day Izmir which stands proud of its given name - The Pearl Of Turkey.
Izmir Clock Tower
One of the most picturized tourist spots of Izmir is the Clock Tower at Konak Square. It was designed by a French architect, as a gift from a German Emperor to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Abdülhamid II's accession to the throne in 1901. The place is also called Saat Kulesi meaning Clock Tower in Turkish. Within Konak Square, you will also find a lot of restaurants and shops. It is one of the busiest squares of the city and is a very lively place to visit at any time of the day.
Hisar Mosque is a strikingly beautiful mosque that can be found in the city centre in Kemeraltı district. Built in the 16th century, it is one of the biggest mosques in Izmir and bears beautiful architectural and interior work from the Ottoman period. It has been renovated and restored multiple times during the 19th and 20th century. It is a calm and serene place to have a quiet moment for yourself and be in awe of its beauty.
Ephesus is the ruins of an ancient Greek city and is located in the Selçuk district of Izmir. The city was built in the 10th century BC by Greek colonists and was a flourishing city under the rule of the Romans in 129 BC. What drew people by the dozen was the Temple of Artemis, which was one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world, but little of it is left to be seen now. Today, the Library of Celsus and the Great Theatre is what's left of this once grand city and continues to rope in the tourists.
The Acropolis of Pergamum was remodelled after the Acropolis of Athens found in Greece. It can be found towards the north of Izmir in the city of Bergama around 110 km from Izmir's city centre. To reach the Acropolis, one must drive about 5 km to the top of the hill from the Bergama Museum, which is located in the city centre of Bergama. Along the way, from the city to the top of the hill, you can see the foundation of various buildings such as gymnasiums and agoras and remains of ancient aqueducts. Once at the top, some of the buildings of importance are the Temple of Athena, Temple of Trajan, A Library and a view of a Hellenistic theatre on the slopes.
Village of Sirince
Sirince in Turkish means pretty or pleasant and the village does live up to its name. However, history tells us that it was earlier called Cirkince, meaning ugly, because the people who settled down here were freed Greek slaves, who did not want anyone bothering them or following them into this village. Now the village is known for its quaint charm of Turk-Greek architecture, cobbled streets and vineyards. It is located just 8 km away from Ephesus and almost 90 km from Izmir city.
Agora Open Air Museum
Bang in the middle of a modern city lies the ruins of an ancient world. The Izmir Agora can be found near Kemeraltı area of Izmir. An earthquake destroyed the Agora (Roman Marketplace) in the 4th century BC and it was later rebuilt in 178 AD by the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. The remains of the multistorey structure built on pillars and arches are a spectacular sight. The statues and artefacts that were found in the Agora are now preserved in the History and Arts Museum. The Agora was also used as a cemetery long time ago and so many tombstones can also be found here.
Kadifekale is the name of the hill and the castle on top of the hill located near the city centre of Izmir. Kadifekale in Turkish means 'velvet castle'. You can get sweeping views of the city as well as the Gulf of Izmir from the top. It is believed that this hill was earlier chosen as the site for Smyrna's (ancient Izmir) Acropolis by Alexander The Great of the 4th century BC. But nothing of the Greek settlement is left to be seen except for a few fortifications which date back to the Roman period.
Mount Sipylus is a famous landmark in Manisa Province, around 60 km from Izmir city. On the mountain is a rock in the shape of a weeping woman which ancient Greeks believed to be Niobe, a prominent tragic figure in Greek Mythology. Hence this site is also known as the 'Weeping Rock'. The mountain has beautiful views with dense forest areas and is a popular spot for camping, hiking, parachuting and other mountain activities.