Agora, Izmir

Agora, Izmir (must see)

The Agora in Izmir holds a significant place in the city's history and continues to be a center for artistic and educational activities. Situated on the northern slopes of the Pagos hills, the Agora served as the bustling commercial, judicial, and political hub of the ancient city of Smyrna.

Today, the Izmir Agora Open Air Museum consists of five distinct parts, each offering insights into different aspects of ancient life. The agora area itself was a bustling marketplace, where traders, artisans, and locals converged to engage in commerce and social interactions. The base of the northern basilica gate is a striking feature that showcases the architectural brilliance of the time.

The stoa, a covered walkway with columns, provided shelter and shade for those conducting business or seeking respite from the elements. Additionally, the ancient shopping center offered a glimpse into the vibrant and bustling commercial life of the era.

The origins of the Agora in Izmir date back to the Hellenistic era. Following a devastating earthquake in 178 AD, Smyrna underwent reconstruction in the Roman period, based on a well-thought-out urban plan by Hippodamos. The Agora was built on a sloping terrain, spanning three floors and positioned near the heart of the city. Its impressive dimensions include a width of 165 meters and a length of 200 meters, encompassed on all sides by porticos.

An interesting aspect that contributed to the preservation of the Agora is its location beneath a Byzantine and later Ottoman cemetery. This circumstance protected the site from modern constructions, allowing it to retain its historical authenticity and grandeur.

As a result of these fortunate circumstances, the Izmir Agora stands today as the largest and best-preserved among Ionian agoras, providing valuable insights into the lives and activities of ancient civilizations.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Izmir. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Agora on Map

Sight Name: Agora
Sight Location: Izmir, Turkey (See walking tours in Izmir)
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Izmir, Turkey

Create Your Own Walk in Izmir

Create Your Own Walk in Izmir

Creating your own self-guided walk in Izmir is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Alsancak Walking Tour

Alsancak Walking Tour

Sparkling like a gem in the Aegean sun, the vibrant Alsancak neighborhood in the historic heart of Izmir exudes an irresistible charm that beckons both seasoned travelers and curious wanderers alike. In Ottoman times, the area was named "La Punta" (which is the Italian for "the cape") and was part of the city settled by the upper middle class.

From the spacious Gündoğdu...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
Izmir Introduction Walking Tour

Izmir Introduction Walking Tour

A major city port on the western coastline of Turkey, Izmir is a city of enchanting contrasts. With a lineage that traverses millennia, this jewel of the Aegean Sea beckons travelers with its storied past and cosmopolitan vibrancy.

The city was founded by the Aeolians (one of the four major ancient Greek tribes) around the 3rd millennium BC and was later inhabited by various civilizations,...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 Km or 2.1 Miles