May 29 Old Smyrna (Day 245)

Our adventure today was visiting the Agora of Old Smyrna, the Greek city established here by Alexander the Great in the 2nd century A.D. We took the tram and stopped at the Izmir Clock Tower and visited the tiny mosque built nearby.

It has beautiful blue tilework!

We headed into the labyrinth of the Kemeralti Market to get across and to the archaeological site of the old city marketplace. We finally found the entrance and started exploring the basement of the complex.

Heading down to the cooler basement!

Ancient graffiti has been found in the tunnels, pictures of ships and fighting gladiators from Roman times!

If Robert pushes any harder on that stone a huge boulder might come rolling at us!

Surprisingly there is a gushing fountain and a series of channels moving water throughout the complex!

“Water channels big enough for a person to pass easily through them have been identified beneath the modern city within the agora and south of it. Today water from an unidentified source still flows through these channels; it is understood that they were used from the Roman period down to Ottoman times. The water flowing from the terracotta pipe here comes from the above-mentioned channels. In Late Antiquity the water was stored in cisterns and used in workshops in the agora.” Roman engineering still working!

Above the basements were the plazas and administrative buildings.

We headed back to the tram and on to the Atatürk Museum in the mansion of a Greek rug merchant who fled Izmir during the War of Independence in 1922. Atatürk used the building as a headquarters during the War and as a residence when he visited Izmir.

The exterior and interior.

Photo of a young Mustafa Kemal before being bestowed the surname Atatürk after the War of Independence.

We took the tram back to our neighborhood and walked to the famous historic elevator and took it up to avoid trudging up the many stairs!

The view from the top!

And another beautiful sunset from the rooftop terrace!

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