Open-Air Museums of Izmir
With its thousands of years of history, Izmir has traces of countless different civilizations and conveys this heritage to its guests through museums spread all over the city.
Some of the museums in Izmir are fully or partially open-air museums. After kindly reminding you that you can check the architectural sites in Izmir, which are not open-air museums by definition but serve as one on this page, let's get to know Izmir's open-air museums more closely.
Open Air Steam Locomotive Museum
The Çamlık Open Air Steam Locomotive Museum is 7 kilometers from Selçuk by railway and highway. This museum was formed in Çamlık for two reasons: It is on the country’s first railway’s path and this village is the repair station for that railway. The construction of the museum was started in 1991, and it was opened for visitors in 1997.
30 steam locomotives made by German, English, French, American, Swedish, and Czechoslovakians are on display at the museum. These include one of the two wood-burning British locomotives in the world and a three-cylinder locomotive Adolf Hitler had made during World War II. The oldest being manufactured in 1887, and the newest in 1952, the locomotives await their visitors in a very good condition. It is also possible to climb the locomotives to read the plates that provide information on the technical details of them.
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the modern Turkish Republic, spent a night at Çamlık in 1937, when he came via White Train to watch the Aegean maneuvers. Because of this, one of the railway cars he used is on display, fully equipped.
Just by the museum, there is a restaurant where you can find the most delicious local food.
Agora Open Air Museum
Located on the northern slope of the city in Kadifekale, the Agora Open Air Museum serves as an archaeological site and an open-air museum, hosting the ruins that have survived since the Hellenistic period.
The graceful embossed portrait of Faustina, the wife of Emperor Marcus Aurelius, who loved Izmir very much, is on the arch of the West Gate of the Agora and warmly welcomes the visitors. A statue group of Poseidon and Demeter, one of the most notable artifacts from the Agora, can be found in the History and Arts Museum.
Another of Agora’s exciting finds is the graffiti in the stores from the Roman Era. The graffiti is said to be the world’s largest Greek graffiti collection and carries profiles of Hellenistic and Roman daily life. The graffiti, which is under protection is said to have been made between the 2nd and 4th centuries A.D. On the walls there are around 1500 graffiti.
It is possible to see layers of the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantium, and the Ottoman traces in the Agora expeditions. The Roman Bathhouse that was recently unearthed in the latest Agora expedition attracts the attention of visitors passing by Faustina road, which goes through the Northwestern gate to the docks.
The pieces extracted from the Agora are today in the Izmir Archeology Museum and the History and Arts Museum.
Bostanlı Open Air Archaeological Museum
Bostanlı Open Air Archaeological Museum was opened in 1987 in Bostanlı’s Güzel Sanatlar Park (Fine Arts Park). 90 pieces of articles from the Early Roman to Byzantine periods are exhibited at the open-air museum which was renovated completely in 2011. After seeing the museum which also includes painting workshops, you can take a walk in the Fine Arts Park and have a coffee break at the Park’s café.
Pergamon Open Air Museum
This museum, in one of Anatolia’s most important ancient cities Pergamon, was opened in an old cemetery in 1936. This makes it the first Archaeological Excavation Museum of the young Republic of Turkey.
In the ethnography section of the museum, the building of which was designed inspired by the Altar of Zeus, there is a rich collection of works reflecting the traditional social life and cultural values of Bergama and its region.
Stoneworks belonging to various periods are exhibited in the inner courtyard and garden of the museum.
Since Bergama is one of the most important carpet production centers of Anatolia, carpets, and kilims of the region (Yuntdağ, Yağcıbedir, Kozak, Bergama weavings) are exhibited here, along with cloth weaving samples, hand works and other handmade opuses belonging to other regions of Anatolia.
Most of the archaeological opuses in the museum, which belong to various periods from the early bronze era to the Byzantine Period, have been found in the excavations made in Bergama and its surroundings. Among the finds found in the archaic residences around, samples belonging to Pergamon sculpture school, Archaic Period finds coming from Pitane and Gryneion, Myrina terracotta draw attention.
Çeşme Castle, which is one of the historical and cultural riches of Çeşme, is also home to Çeşme Archeology Museum.
The findings and artifacts you can see in the halls and the garden of the Çeşme Museum include marble statues, graves from various eras, terracotta figurines, pottery, architectural components, the amphora extracted from the submerged area, hoes, iron and bronze cannonballs, catapult balls, and old olive crushing mechanisms. These are artifacts from the excavations in the Ancient City of Erythrai (Ildırı), which have been going on since 1964.
The Art Gallery at the entrance of the museum, on the other hand, is home to many exhibitions.
Universal Children's Museum and Education Campus
Universal Children's Museum and Education Campus which was founded in Karşıyaka in 2017, helps children to develop their creativity, imagination, and skills while sharing fun experiences. The museum which is located in Karşıyaka, one of the city's busiest districts, on a 7 thousand 200 square meters of land, it’s Turkey’s and the world’s first children museum and education campus with a theme of universal values.
The campus has sections such as Paleontology Island, which has 15 dinosaur replicas and fossil excavations; Entomology Island which has biological ponds, insect replicas, and insect hotels; Engineering Island which has miniature construction machinery; and the Science Island which has setups like a static astronaut and Archimedes auger. The museum part, on the other hand, has education and exhibition areas to ensure that children learn about different universal values such as Respect and Environment, Love and Veterinary, Friendship, and Town Musicians of Bremen.