- The Clock Tower in Konak is the most important symbol of Izmir but not the oldest clock tower in the city. Alsancak Station Clock Tower is the oldest of the four clock towers you can find in Izmir. There is the phrase “London 1890” on the tower built by the British. Konak Clock Tower was built to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Abdulhamid II’s ascension to the throne in 1901.
- One of the three quarantine islands in the world is in Urla. Klazomen Quarantine House, or Karantina Island, as it is known today, is one of the three registered quarantine islands that have survived in the world. Island is located next to the ancient city of Klazomenai. Facilities on the island were built in 1865 by the French, and they were actively used until 1950. Road to the island was built in 1950. However, right next to this road, in the sea, you can see the marble road built during the period of Alexander the Great in the 6th century BC.
- Many famous philosophers lived in Izmir. Homer of Smyrna, one of the most important philosophers of antiquity, the author of important epics such as the Iliad and Odyssey which are considered to be the first great works of Western literature; Famous philosopher and poet Xenophobes, one of the pre-Socratic thinkers; Heraclitus of Ephesus, who has the famous saying “You cannot wash in the same river twice”; Another important thinker of the pre-Socratic era, Anaxagoras, and known as the founder of experimental physiology and the world’s first sports physician, “Father of Physicians”, Galen of Pergamon spent big parts of their life in Izmir.
- One of the seven wonders of the world was in Izmir. The Temple of Artemis in the Ancient City of Ephesus was regarded as one of the seven wonders of the ancient times. Built by the Lydian King Croesus in dedication to the goddess Artemis and built in 12 years. The building was designed by the Greek architect Chersiphron. The Temple of Artemis, which was decorated with bronze sculptures bearing the signatures of the greatest sculptors of the period, Pheidias, Polycleitus, Kresilas and Phradmon, and an art monument with its magnificent appearance, unfortunately did not survive to our day.
- The world’s oldest olive oil factory is in Izmir. During the excavations carried out in Klozemenai, whose history goes uninterruptedly up to 6,000 years ago, the oldest known olive oil workshop in the world, which was actively working 2,600 years ago, was found. Indicating a high level of prosperity in the 6th century BC. With the work carried out in 2004-2005, the same workshop in the ancient period was rebuilt and olive oil was started to be produced. You can buy delicious olive oils here.
- Christians believe that after the crucifixion of Jesus, the Virgin Mary came to Selcuk with the apostle John (St. John the Evangelist) and spent the last years of her life here. That’s why the House of Virgin Mary is considered as one of the holy pilgrimage places in Turkey. The House of Virgin Mary in Ephesus was found by Lazarists from Izmir in 1891. In 1952, the Vatican declared that the Virgin Mary House as a sacred pilgrimage place. Every year on the 15th of August a great ritual organized by the Vatican on the day of Mary’s ascension.
- Women from Izmir carried out the first known women’s protest in history. According to what we learned from the documents, in 1828, women from Izmir carried out an action after the rise in bread prices. After the three-day protests, the decision to raise was withdrawn!
- The football match played between Karşıya Football Club and Göztepe Football Club in İzmir Atatürk Stadium on May 16, 1981, was spectated by 67 thousand 696 people with tickets. In those days, it was easy to enter the matches without a ticket and the newspapers wrote that there were more than 80 thousand spectators in the stands. This local derby holds the attendance record in Turkey for many years, and still remains the most spectated 2 League match match title.
- The only village with a theater in Turkey is in Izmir. Bademler village which is in Seferihisar town is the first and not the only village in Turkey with a theater.
- Izmir has always been called beautiful. It is not new thing to call this city “Beautiful Izmir”. İzmir has always been a city that has fascinated people since ancient times. Historian Herodot said about Izmir, “They established their cities in the most beautiful skies and the most beautiful climates we know on earth.”. Aristo on the other hand told about Izmir to Alexander the Great stating, “If you don’t see it, you will be missing!” he said.
Tour Guide in Izmir
Izmir has a lot more to offer and you need the right person to show you around. I will be happy to host you and be your Turkish tour guide in Izmir, Turkey. You can contact me to learn more on Izmir and to book a tour guide in Izmir. See you soon, Hasan Gülday.