Things You Didn’t Know About Izmir
Let’s talk about some features of the ‘Beautiful Izmir’ that are not known by many people.
'Beautiful Izmir' nickname goes back a very long time
İzmir has been a city that has fascinated people since ancient times. "They founded their city in the most beautiful sky and the best climate in the world." once said the historian Herodotus. On the other hand, while Aristotle explained İzmir to Alexander the Great, "If you don't see it, you won’t be complete!” he said. In other words, this city earned its nickname of "Beautiful Izmir" not in modern times, but in ancient times!
Parchment Paper Discovered in Bergama
Parchment paper, which was used to write or paint on it and specially prepared from animal skin, was built in Bergama and spread all over the world from the 2nd century BC. Thanks to its many advantages such as being able to be written on both sides when handled correctly, not being torn, not burning, durability, suitability for calligraphy and illumination, that it does not tire the eye while reading, parchment was used along with papyrus until the 4th century, and was accepted as the sole writing media until the 12th century.
The World's Best Artists Made Appearances in Izmir
Turkey's most modern city Izmir is also a city of art and culture. International Izmir Festival, which has been held since 1987, has hosted many world-famous artists, including but limited to Ray Charles, Paco De Lucia, Christ De Burg, Sting, Moscow State Philharmonic Orchestra, Julio Iglesias, Jan Garbarek, Red Army Choir, Kodo, Chick Corea, New York City Ballet, Nigel Kennedy, Bryan Adams, Elton John, and James Brown.
Izmir used to be the world's healing capital
Izmir, one of Turkey's best health tourism destinations, used to be one of the most important spots in this field. Studies in the health field in İzmir date back to ancient times. Asclepieion, which was built in 4th century BC and was famous for its healing water and for the writing "Death can't enter here" on its wall; Bergama, which was where pharmacist and doctor Galenos father of medicine history lived; Agamemnon hot springs in Balçova; Klazomen Quarantine Island in Urla, which is one of the remaining 3 of its kind in the world, all have been helping İzmir a step forward in the stage of history in the health field.
Izmir Used to be the Capital of Philosophy As Well
Just like in the field of medicine, many of the most important names in the field of philosophy lived in Izmir. Among the famous philosophers of the Ancient Age who lived in İzmir are Homer, the author of important epics, the first great works of Western literature such as Iliad and Odyssey; the famous philosopher and poet Xenophanes; Heraclitus, the owner of the famous saying, "No man ever steps in the same river twice”; important Pre-Socratic Greek philosopher Anaxagoras, and Galen, the Father of the Physicians, who was also the founder of experimental physiology and the first sports physician in the world in addition to his philosopher identity.
Women of Izmir has always been powerful
The modern Izmir is the city where women are most comfortable and are heard. The city has been like this for centuries. The women of İzmir even carried out the first all-female protests in history. According to what we learned from the documents in the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Ahmet Piriştina City Archive and Museum, women of İzmir carried out a protest on the price hike in 1828. While the hike decision was withdrawn after three days of action, this protest was recorded as the first protests performed by women.
The first and only village in Turkey that has a theater is located in Izmir
Bademler village of the Seferihisar district is the first and only village in Turkey that has a theater. In the theater building opened in 1969, where dozens of plays written and put on the stage by the villagers meet with the audience, many works that tell the relationship of the village with the theater are also exhibited.
Izmir is a holy city for Christians
Christians believe that after Jesus' crucifixion, the Virgin Mary came to Selçuk with his apostle St. Jean and spent the last years of her life here. That is why the House of the Virgin Mary is considered one of the holy places of pilgrimage. Today, the building belongs to the Mother Mary Association. The house received visits from Pope Paul VI in 1967 and Pope John Paul II in 1979, which strengthened the belief that Virgin Mary lived and died in Ephesus. This site has become a frequent destination for pilgrims since the image of the Virgin Mary is venerated not only by Christians but also by Muslims. A special mass is held each 15 August and attracts numerous visitors.