Discover Izmir and unique archaeological sites
With its 8500 years of history and rich heritage passed on from the previous 32 civilizations, Izmir has numerous ancient settlements. We have compiled a list of 7 impressive ancient cities that you should visit in Izmir.
Ephesus, which is one of the most iconic symbols of Turkey, is one of the most renowned ancient cities in the world. Dating back to 8600 years, Ephesus was a port city where the east meets the west. Saint Paul, known as Apostle Paul in the Bible, came to Ephesus in 53-55 AD where he stayed for 3 years and gave his famous sermons. Located in Selcuk town, the ancient city of Ephesus is only one hour drive from Izmir. Ephesus was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2015.
Founded in 1050-1000 BC, Teos was one of the 12 cities in Antique Ionia. It is also known as the city of Dionysus, the god of wine in mythology. Teos is also the city of artists, where the first players' guild was formed in history. The ancient city is located 5 km away from Seferihisar and 1 km from the village of Sigacik.
Built in the 7th century BC, the ancient city of Lebedos is definitely worth visiting. It is located in Menderes town of Izmir. The historical artifacts of Lebedos are the Hellenistic port walls, gymnasium, temple terrace and house ruins.
One of the most important settling areas of the antique age, Pergamon shines like a light in Anatolia with its history that goes back to preshistoric times. Pergamon and its Multi Layered Cultural Landscape, the only capital city from the Hellenistic Period, inholding the layers of Hellenistic, Roman, Eastern Roman and Ottoman periods were inscribed on the World Heritage List of UNESCO in 2014.
Located 25 km northeast of Cesme, Ildiri's name in ancient period was Erythrai. It is estimated that this city, which was very developed in maritime, was named after erythros due to the colour of its soil. Another legend has it that It took its name after Erythros, the son of Rhadamanthes of Crete, the founder of the city.
Smyrna Agora was built on the northern slope of Pagos Mountain during the Hellenistic Period in the 4th century BC. Most of the ruins are the ones that were rebuilt upon the order of Marcus Aurelius, the Roman Emperor, after the earthquake in 178 AD. It is the state agora of the city. Three storey Agora has the basilica, court rooms and 28 stores used for the administration is one of the most distinguished Roman buildings.
Built on the ancient road between Smyrna and Ephesus in Torbali town, Metropolis is 12 km away from downtown. It is known as the city of mother goddess. Ruins from early Bronze Age and 2000 BC were discovered in the city. Among these archaeological ruins are the theatre, bouleuterion, bath, gymnasium and terrace houses.