|Izmir, third biggest city of Turkey, called Pearl of the Aegean,
has been planned in such a way that the chaotic environment of
metropolises has been avoided. Izmir is located at the beginning of
a long narrow gulf called Izmir Gulf which has a mild and sunny
weather. This is why its easy to get from Izmir to Kusadasi. It is a
city which is famous for its lovely weather and beautiful girls.
According to the legend the name Smyrna drives from a
mythological story. The wife of Cyprus King claimed that her
daughter Smyrna was prettier than Aphrodite. To punish Aphrodite
made her to fall in love with her father and one night when her
father was drunk she went into his bed.
When Smyrna's father woke up he saw her and sent her away from
the palace. He followed her to the countryside where he would kill
her with his sword. However when he was about to kill her Aphrodite
pitied Smyrna and made her turn into a myrtle tree. The King split
the tree into two out of where Adonis was born.
The harbour of the city is the second biggest in Turkey. And the
port is popular for Curuise ships too. The route from Izmir to
Kusadasi is goes by sea coast. It is lively and cosmopolitan all
year especially during International Art Festival in June/July and
International Fair in August / September.
Izmir was founded in the 3rd millennium B.C. in Bayrakli. During
that time it had the most advanced culture in Western Anatolia. In
1500 B.C. it was conquered by Hittite Empire. Izmir, with its
ancient name Smyrna was one of the most important cities of the
Ionian Federation in the 1st millennium B.C.
Homer is believed to live here. In 200 B.C. the city was
conquered by the Lydians until the 4th century B.C. when the
Persians got the control. The y built a new city in Kadifekale. From
the first century B.C. to 1415 it was conquered by the Byzantines,
Seljuks and at last by the Ottoman sultan Mehmet Celebi.
There are a few museums in Izmir. Archeological Museum of Izmir
located in Konak Square which has the statues of Poseidon and
Demeter. Next to the Archeological Museum there is Ethnography
Museum which has the collection of folkloric artifacts, Bergama and
Gordes carpets, traditional costumes and camel bridles.
The Ataturk Museum which is located on Ataturk Street has the
collection of photographs of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and his personal
belongings. The Fine Arts Museum is located in Konak which has the
collection of famous Turkish painters. The Selcuk Yasar Art Museum
is on Cumhuriyet Boulevard which has the collection of 20th Century
Turkish Art. There is also the Natural History Museum and Ege
University Botanical Garden in Bornova.
A Temple which was dedicated to Athena was found in Bayrakli.
There are the ruins of the castle in Kadifekale built by Lysimachus
during the reign of Alexandre the Great. The Agora in the Namazgah
Quarter was built during the reign of Alexandre the Great however
the ruins are dating back to Marcus Aurelius who had it rebuilt
after an earthquake in 178 A.D.
The Sirinyer and Yesildere Aqueducts are the two examples of Roman
engineering. There are also the Saint Polycarp Church which
symbolizes the Seven Churches of the Apolcalypse, the Saat Kulesi in
Konak Square, Asansor quarter, Dario Moreno Sokagi, Havra Sokak in
Kemeralti, Ataturk Monument in Cumhuriyet Meydani, Karsiyaka and
Alsancak are worth seeing in Izmir with many restaurants, bars,
cafes and discos. Some of the mosques which are worth visiting in
Izmir are Hisar Mosque which was built in 16th century, Salepcioglu,
Sadirvan, Kemeralti which are all located close to Kemeralti
The well known park in Izmir is Kulturpark where the
International Fair assembles. There are amusement park, zoo,
restaurants, theatres, library and beautiful gardens. In Karsiyaka
there is Adnan Saygun Park which contains an amphitheatre for
concerts and performances, Open-Air Museum Park, Insan haklari
(Human Rights) Park, Muammer Akso Park and Turgut Ozal Recretaion
Park in Bayrakli. When the Fair assembles in September, there are
bus shuttles from Izmir to Kusadasi, and also Kusadasi to Izmir.
One of the most important visiting place is Balcova where there
is Turkey's largest thermal spas. There are hotels around which are
suitable for thermalism. There are mud and herb baths, saunas,
paraffin, skin care, massage, fitness center with experts who are
specialized in rheumatism, waist and neck aches, orthopedics and
Camalti is located 15km away from Karsiyaka which is a preserved
area for bird sanctuary of the Izmir Bird Paradise. There are many
species like flamingoes and pelicans. The Seven Churches that were
mentioned by St John are all located around Izmir which are in
Izmir, Ephesus, Eskihisar, Alasehir, Sart, Akhisar and Bergama.