The İzmir Development Agency carries out various projects to research, promote, and revive the historical and cultural heritage of İzmir with a view to contribute in the comprehensive development of the city.
Our project was launched in 2020 and set off with a focus on the archaeological and historical heritage of İzmir city center. The project united academics, researchers, game and web developers, and three-dimensional modeling specialists on a mission to revive the ruined or lost historical heritage in the digital environment.
On our project’s website, it is already possible to get access to data and 3D reconstructions of some of the numerous cultural heritage sites dating back to different eras, which the city of İzmir harbors:
- Yesilova Mound
Prior to the discovery of Yeşilova Mound, the earliest settlement in İzmir was estimated to date back 5,000 years. There have been several mounds in Western Anatolia and within the İzmir province that were traced back to the Neolithic Age. However, the discovery of Yeşilova in the city center not only highlighted İzmir as a rare city that has harbored human civilization since ancient times, but also introduced a new link between the Neolithic Age in Near East and Europe.
- Old Smyrna Mound
The Old Smyrna Mound was first inhabited in 3000 B.C. and enjoyed its prime during the Iron Age as a flourishing Greek colony. Located in the modern Bayraklı district of İzmir, the mound contains multiple cultural layers extending from the Early Bronze Age to the Roman Period.
- Ancient City of Smyrna
Outgrowing its early settlement in Bayraklı, Smyrna was moved to its new location during the Hellenistic Period. Rapidly developing into a trading hub, the town reached its highlight during the Roman Empire. By the second century CE, Smyrna was a Roman city extending from Kadifekale to Konak, from Eşrefpaşa to Halkapınar, whose remains can be found even in the Çankaya neighborhood of Konak district.
Kemeraltı, one of the largest open-air bazaars in the world, continues to be one of the most important symbols of İzmir for hundreds of years. The region, which has been designated as a trade area since Antiquity, had a very important share in the rise of İzmir as an Ottoman city. Inns, covered bazaars, arastas, mosques, synagogues, warehouse structures, hotels, fountains, coffee houses, restaurants, workshops where all kinds of production were made formed a complex and colorful texture in Kemeraltı.
İzmir quay, which the people of İzmir call ‘Kordon’ today, has been the most important symbol of İzmir since its construction. When it was completed in 1876, it changed the whole face of İzmir and increased the commercial potential of the city exponentially. At the beginning of the 20th century, İzmir had turned into the brightest port city of the Eastern Mediterranean.