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Basmane Train Station, the first place to be seen by new arrivals from Anatolia, was built in the mid-1870s. At that time, the station was surrounded by the Turkish quarters on one side and the Armenian and Greek quarters on the other. Just opposite the station is the Çorakkapı Mosque, known to have already existed in the city at the beginning of the 18th century. Basmane Train Station, which connects İzmir to Anatolia by delivering the raw materials produced in the fertile lands of Anatolia to the port of İzmir and facilitates exports to Europe, gained even more importance with the opening of İzmir International Fair and Culture Park in 1936. As the booming commercial activity brought by the station significantly increased the demand for accommodation in the region, the residences inhabited by the long-established families of the city began to be converted into hotels in the first quarter of the 20th century.
The Greek Orthodox Community built St. Voukolos Church in 1866-1867 over the site of an old temple. The church is dedicated to St. Voukolos and St. Polycarp, the first bishops of İzmir. The church, which survived the Great Fire in İzmir, was left without a congregation because the Greek population left the city under population exchange. It was first opened to public visit under the name of the Museum of Antiquities during the Republic period. The building, which Ataturk visited during his stay in İzmir in 1931, was renamed the Archeology Museum in 1943. After the museum was moved, it also served as an opera study hall. The İzmir Metropolitan Municipality finally restored the building in 2010, turning it into one of the city's major cultural centers.
Cihan Palace Hotel is an essential example of a European-style hotel built by Kulali Cihanzade Hüseyin Fehmi Bey in the Republic's first years. The hotel, which has a privileged appearance with its distinct architectural design and interior decorations, is called Emniyet Hotel in an İzmir city guide dating back to 1934. Today, the only active part of the now abandoned building is the coffee house on the ground floor.
Dönertaş Fountain, one of the finest typical examples of the city's aqua architecture, is famous for its marble ornaments. It was built in 1814 by Seyyid İsmail Rahmi Efendi from the Osmanzadeler Family. The Dönertaş Fountain took its name from the revolving column at the corner where the two sides meet. The column, which for many years was used as a wish stone believed to fulfill the wishes of those who were able to turn it, was erected to detect possible changes in the balance of the structure. The Dönertaş Fountain, which the İzmir Metropolitan Municipality restored in 2006, is no longer used today.
Emir Sultan Mausoleum And Zawiyah
The mausoleum, whose history dates back to the first half of the 14th century, was commissioned by Aydınoğlu Gazi Umur Bey in the name of Seyyid Mükerremeddin, one of the veteran dervishes who participated in the conquest of İzmir. The zawiyah that emerged over time around the mausoleum consists of a ritual whirling house, soup kitchen, guest house, mausoleum, well, and bathhouse. Special burial areas also emerged around the Mausoleum of Emir Sultan with the burial of prestigious figures of İzmir. Reused stones with ornaments or inscriptions from the buildings dating back to the Roman or Byzantine Periods stand out on the mausoleum's walls, the bathhouse's walls, and the surrounding residences. With a history covering a period of 700 years, the building was opened for a public visit after a comprehensive restoration work carried out by the İzmir Metropolitan Municipality between 2011-2014.
Namazgah Bathhouse is among the prime examples of bathhouses that became indispensable elements of daily life in the Ottoman Period. It was believed that the bathhouse, which took its name from the district where it was located, was built in the 17th century. Namazgah Bath, which was designed as a double bath with separate areas reserved for women and men, was restored to the city after the restoration works completed by İzmir Metropolitan Municipality in 2019.
The port and maritime trade have been significant for İzmir since Antiquity. Various products were exported from the port of Smyrna to the entire Mediterranean basin, and it is known that the city was a significant center for viticulture and wine production. Most of the ruins that have survived from the Agora of the ancient city of Smyrna, which was founded in the late 4th century BC after Alexander the Great, date back to the Roman Period Agora that was built after the earthquake of 178 AD. In the excavations carried out to date, the Western Porch surrounding the courtyard inside the İzmir Agora, the Basilica used in judicial and commercial works, two public buildings called the City Council and the Mosaic Building, and the Roman bath has been uncovered.
With the foundation of the State of Israel, a large portion of the Jewish population of İzmir left the city. Especially since the last quarter of the 16th century, the Jewish population settled in and around Havra Street. It became an important part of the city by establishing Juderia, the Jewish quarter. Nine synagogues, four of which were built adjacent to each other, and the rabbinical building is surrounding the street form an architectural complex that is unique today. The sources from the 19th century reveal that Havra Street featured Greek and Jewish wineries, as well as a Turkish bath and a Greek pharmacy. On the street, traces of the historic winery can be seen from the grape and vine leaf motifs engraved on the keystone at the arched entrance. Although the street has lost its distinctive character, it retains its commercial texture and vivacious ambiance.
Abacıoğlu Inn is one of the inns subsequently built in the area, encouraged by the increasing port trade in the 18th century. Abacızade Hacı Mustafa Ağa commissioned it in the early 18th century. The building was used for accommodation, trade, and storage purposes and was located within the Jewish quarters, adjacent to the cellar of the Greek church. Featuring nine rooms and seven lower cellars at the time of its construction, Abacioglu Inn earned the Respect for History – Local Conservation Competition organized by the İzmir Metropolitan Municipality and Philippe Rotthier European Prize for Architecture awards with its restoration work that was completed in 2007. You can enjoy the historical inn at one of the nice food & beverage spots in the colorful two-story spaces overlooking its spacious tree-lined courtyard.
Ali Pasha Square, also referred to as Ships Pier in the early 19th century, is one of the last areas created by land reclamation at the inner harbor. The square and the surrounding inns served as a kind of stock exchange until the establishment of the İzmir Commodity Exchange in 1891. Since the mid-19th century, the square has become the focal center of the bazaar. The symbol of Ali Pasha Square is the Hacı Salih Pasha Fountain. The fountain, built-in 1828 by the Grand Vizier Salih Pasha, took part in many engravings with the caravans that stopped to rest around it. The square, which for decades in the past was home to caravans, is now home to many local restaurants surrounding the fountain.
Kızlarağası Inn was commissioned by Hacı Beşir Ağa in 1744. Since the inn was built at the port's mouth and acted as a pier. The inn, which has a courtyard where caravans will leave their loads and several rooms on the upper floor that welcome weary travelers, maintained its importance in the commercial life of İzmir until the last quarter of the 19th century. Although the inn had played a significant role in the economy of İzmir, its importance began to decrease because the inner harbor was filled with land. The historic inn was restored between 1988 and 92 and houses 200 small shops selling antiques, leather, jewelry, and souvenirs today.
Originally built as an Ottoman Customs inn, Çakaloğlu Inn consists of 18 rooms on both sides of its arched corridor. Although the exact construction date of the inn is unknown, the dates' 1805-1806' engraved on the famous Gaffarzade Fountain at its entrance give an idea. In time, the accommodative function of the inns was replaced by hotels, and different types of inns specialized in activities such as trade and storage emerged. Çakaloğlu Inn has particular importance in the city's memory as it still carries the traces of the Great İzmir Fire of 1922. The Guiffray Inn, built for storage purposes just beyond the inn in the same years as the İzmir port, took its rightful place in the city as a magnificent and modern warehouse structure at the beginning of the 20th century.
Old Customs Building (Konak Pier)
The use of steel in construction was realized in Turkey before Europe. With İzmir becoming one of the most important port cities of the Mediterranean, it was ordered to build a pier at the entrance of the city. The concession granted to the British entrepreneurs for constructing a customs building and warehouses, along with a pier, was later transferred to the French Dussaud brothers. The customs building and the pier were opened in 1876. The building, seen to have added a large hall over time with the land reclamation works, was used as a fish house after the 1960s. It is the proof of the Old Customs House. The historical customs building, one of the city's most special structures due to its historical importance, architectural design, and location, welcomes its visitors as a shopping center with various restaurants today.
Click here to see Traces of the Trade Route on the map!