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Kemeraltı Bazaar Ancient Route

Kemeraltı Bazaar Ancient Route

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In its early years, Kemeralti Bazaar appeared as a covered bazaar with a roof of stone tiles and clay covering the streets. This feature was maintained by the bazaar until the late 20th century. Today, it is known that a part of the open streets have five-arch stone tile roofs. The transformation of Kemeralti Bazaar into a social center that started from the harbor, took place in the 17th century. In the 19th century, the bazaar, which was the heart of the trade life of Izmir, included old inns and bazaars.

The Modern-Day Kemeralti Bazaar

The Historical Kemeralti Bazaar, which has the title of “the world’s oldest bazaar” due to uninterrupted shopping for nearly five thousand years, today hosts 14,482 businesses in 230 different trades and over 800,000 different types of products, as well as over ten thousand craftsmen and traders in a 270-hectare area. The bazaar, which includes all public institutions and organizations in Izmir, but also holds most of Izmir’s cultural and historical heritage, is the second most important connection point for the eastern and western markets after Istanbul.


The building, known as Piçhane, was established in 1891 and was built as St. Rock Hospital for the sick in 1831. This neo-classical structure, which bears traces of Byzantine architectural embellishments, was repaired by the French in 1845 and designated for the care of poor Christians.

During the occupation of İzmir by the Greeks, it was used for orphaned Greek children. The name “Piçhane” given by the Turks during this period has survived to this day. During the Republic era, it was first used as the Institute of Public Health, then as the Provincial Health Director for many years until it was transferred to the Ministry of Culture in 1984. While a portion of it is used as the İzmir Ethnography Museum, the majority has been serving as the Provincial Culture Director since 1987.

İzmir Archaeology Museum

The museum building, located in Bahribaba Park in Konak, was opened to visitors on February 11, 1984. The three-story museum contains depository rooms for all the artifacts, which are kept and protected in different categories, as well as restoration laboratories, library, and archives on the ground floor. The administrative departments are located on the first floor. The Stone Works Hall, which is also the entrance floor, is located on the middle floor. In this section, large sculptures, busts, portraits, and masks containing marble and stone sculptures are displayed.

Notable Artifacts

One of the most striking works of the İzmir Archeology Museum, the marble “Androklos Statue” dated to the Roman period, is believed to belong to Androklos, the founder of Ephesus. The Ord. Prof. Ekrem Akurgal Ceramic Works Hall, located on the upper floor, is arranged in a chronological order. A large number of works from various digs, from the Prehistoric Era to the Byzantine Era, are displayed in this hall. The “Bronze Running Athlete Statue” and the “Bronze Demether Statue” recovered from sunken ships in the Aegean Sea are among the most attractive works of the museum. In the Treasury Room, located on the same floor as the bronze statues, coins from the Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, and Islamic periods, as well as gold, silver, and valuable stone jewelry and glassware from the Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine periods can be seen. In the museum garden, sculptures recovered from various excavations, sections displaying coffins, stelae, inscriptions, and architectural pieces are located.

Kemeraltı Mosque

In the Ottoman provinces, the clearest examples of Ottoman architectural styles can be seen in mosques. However, in terms of mosques, Izmir is actually quite poor. The fact that there is not a single mosque built in the name of the sultans explains both this situation and the fact that the architectural styles of the existing mosques are extremely simple and unassuming. The Kemeralti Mosque was built in 1671 by Yusuf Cavuszade Ahmet Agha. It is located at the intersection of streets 853 and 856, near the former inner harbor where the sea used to reach.


The place of worship has one dome and is cubic in shape. The plaster decorations inside are quite beautiful. The mosque underwent significant renovation in 1812, but its madrasa and library have since become history, and the water of its fountain has run dry. The “birdhouse” on its facade, however, still stands.

Salepçioğlu Mosque

The Salepçioğlu Mosque was built by Salepçioğlu Hacı Ahmet Efendi in 1906. It is located at the junction of the 850 and 917 streets. It has a large central dome and three smaller ones, with a slender and delicate minaret. The exterior walls are covered with marble and green stones, and the large dome is embellished with gold leaf.

Başdurak Mosque

The construction date of the mosque is not exactly known, but according to what is written in its inscription, it is believed to have undergone repair between 1774 and 1775.


This mosque, with stores underneath, is a single dome structure supported by eight hexagonal double pillars. After climbing the stairs to the garden, one enters the mosque from the last prayer area covered by two symmetrical domes and a monastery vault in between. The interior decorations of Başdurak Mosque are particularly worth seeing. The mosque, which underwent its last restoration in 1972, is located at the corner of Anafartalar Street and 863 Street and is surrounded by 869 and 873 streets.

Abacıoğlu Inn

The Abacıoğlu Han, a historical building located in the midst of the bustle and chaos of Kemeraltı, remains in the background and is little known, but once you step inside, its natural architecture and peaceful structure immediately catches your attention.


Located on an island between the 919th and 920th streets on the right side of Anafartalar Street, which leads from Kemeraltı Başdurak Mosque to Arasta, the asymmetrically planned Han, consisting of two-story shops surrounding a central courtyard, is believed to have been built by Hacı Mustafa Ağa in the early 18th century. The original structure, estimated to have nine rooms and seven underground storage areas, only the northeast and southwest wings have survived to this day.


Today, there are seven shops on the right side of the courtyard and eight shops on the left side of the northeast wing. The han, which was awarded an prize in the Philippe Rotthier European Architecture Competition as one of the best 30 architectural structures, currently houses 18 shops, including a restaurant, cafe, gift shop, leather goods store, and cafes.

Kestane Pazarı Mosque

The mosque was built in 1667 and features a large dome resting on a square space, surrounded by four half-domes that give the mosque an interesting Art Deco architectural style. The mosque’s exquisite mihrab is believed to have been brought from the Isa Bey Mosque in Selçuk. There is a plaque above the entrance and the mosque has three domes in the last prayer area.

Havra Street

The name was taken from the numerous synagogues located in the surrounding area. Jews who migrated from Spain and settled in Izmir in the 15th century opened most of their businesses in this street and its surroundings. Along with their success in commerce, their traditions, customs, and cuisine brought a different culture to Havra Street and Izmir. The synagogues of the Jews, who were a testament to the inter-religious brotherhood, have been intertwined with the mosques of the Muslim community for centuries. Bikur Halim, Ez Hayim, Bet Illel, Shalom, Talmud Torah, Sinyora Iveret, and Algazi synagogues are the best examples of this.


This place, known as the “Jewish Quarter” since the 15th century, was the first settlement area of the Jews in Izmir. Jews who were expelled from Spain and Portugal between 1492-94 were accepted by the Ottoman Empire and were settled in Thessaloniki, Istanbul, and Izmir. In the 19th century, the Jewish population in Izmir reached 55,000, while the total population was 150-200,000. At the beginning of the 20th century, Jews who moved to the Karataş region emigrated to Israel when it was established in 1948. The remaining Jewish population settled in the Alsancak area. Previously, this area was a lively commercial center with all sorts of tradesmen and craftsmen, but it began to be abandoned with the decline of the Jews.

Yeşildirek Bath

This bath, dated back to the 17th century, is located in Havra Street. However, its healing waters have long been cut off, and it has been converted into a passageway in the present day.

Şadırvan Mosque

It dates back to 1636 and is located at the corner of Anafartalar Avenue and 912 Street. It is believed to have taken its name from the fountains located both under and beside it. Like Başdurak Mosque, Şadırvan Mosque also hosts many shops. It underwent renovation in 1815.

Arap Inn

The exact construction date of the small Karaosmanoğlu Han, located next to Küçük Karaosmanoğlu Han on İzmir Anafartalar Street, is unknown due to the lack of records. However, the name of the building is mentioned in the Salnameler from the Aydın Province, dated 1890-1891. Based on this and its architectural structure, it is believed to have been built in the second half of the 19th century. Inside the han was the printing press of the Esperans newspaper, which was published in Hebrew at the end of the same century. However, it was primarily home to businesses specializing in the manufacture and sale of shoes, in line with the activity in the region. Today, it mostly houses shops related to manufacturing.


The han, built of cut stone, rubble stone and brick, has a rectangular plan with a courtyard. There is also a mosque within the courtyard. The entrance facade is two-story, while the wings of the courtyard are single-story. Only the room over the entrance in the second floor has survived to the present day, while others have deviated from their original conditions. The rooms on the second floor are opened to the wooden-ceilinged corridor with a door and a window.

Kadı Bath

The Kadı Hamam is from the 16th century. One transitions from the changing area to the dome through a lower eight-pointed arch barrel vault. From there, one arrives at a warm area with a pendentive dome in the center. The washing section is rectangular with side bays featuring pointed arches and pendentive domes. The well-maintained Kadı Hamam is located on Anafartalar Street and is open for business.

Hisar Mosque

The Hisar Mosque was built in 1592 by Yakup Bey. Its central dome is supported by eight columns, while three large domes can be found on the sides, three smaller domes in the back, and seven smaller domes in the last congregational area. Its minaret has one balcony.


Its interior decorations and column capitals are well preserved. After a portion of its minaret was lost in an earthquake in 2001, the Hisar Mosque underwent repairs and was quickly reopened for worship.

Çakaoğlu Inn

The Historic Çakaloğlu Han, located between 895 and 861 streets in the Halimağa Market of İzmir (Kasap Hızır neighborhood), is believed to have been built during the reign of III. Selim, as indicated by the dates 1805-1806 found on the çeşme and sebil at the entrance of the building’s northern facade. The east and west sides of the entrance contain the çeşme and sebil. This 18th century Ottoman structure, located near the Kızlarağası Han in the Konak Kemeraltı district, is made of cut stone, rubble stone, and brick and has a rectangular design with a central corridor and nine to eighteen rooms on either side. It is a rectangular building that extends in the north-south direction.

Kızlarağası Inn

The Kızlarağası Han, located in Kemeraltı, İzmir and surrounded by 871-906 Streets and Hisar Mosque, is believed to have been built in 1743 by Darüssaade Agha Hacı Beşir Agha according to the han’s inscription. It is thought to have been completed in 1745, located just behind the İzmir Harbor Castle and is considered an important building for İzmir.


The han, which is one of the rare Ottoman architectural works that has survived to this day in İzmir, is made of cut stone, rough-hewn stone, and brick and has a rectangular plan, with a courtyard and two floors. The corridors on the lower and upper floors of the rooms in the han have arched vaults and the upper floor has mirrored vaults. The north facade of the han overlooks the Copper Bazaar and the south facade is closed with shops.


The main facade is on the west and faces 861 Street. Originally, it was believed that there were three external projections supported by stone consoles on the second floor, in the middle and at the north and south ends of this facade, but only the middle projection has survived to this day. There is a two-story square building in the northwest-southeast corner of the courtyard, which is likely to have been a mosque. A staircase inside the western facade leads to the second floor. Additionally, there are doors in both corners of the han, with staircases leading to the upper floor next to them.


The Kızlarağası Han has survived to this day in good condition. Restored in 1993, it now serves as a tourist bazaar, where you can find various handcrafted products, carpets, leather clothing, and striking souvenirs. You can also relax in the mystical atmosphere in the open tea garden in the center of the han and relieve your fatigue.

Mirkelamoğlu Inn

The exact construction date of the Mirkelamoğlu Hanı located on 914 Street in Kemeraltı, İzmir, is unknown as its record has not been preserved. However, it is believed to have been built in the late 18th century based on its architectural structure and its connection to other hans in the area.


The second floor of the han contains 21 rooms, with three of them located on the west side covered by a cross-vaulted dome and the remaining rooms opened to arches. The doors in the han have a style similar to Bursa arches. All the rooms opened to arches have barrel vaults, and the han is planned to be restored in the near future. Currently, it houses fur manufacturers, a restaurant, a tea house, a 45 RPM record seller, and antique dealers.

Konak Pier

The Customs Warehouse in İzmir, which had become an important port in the Mediterranean in the early 19th century, was constructed as such. It is believed that the architect was French architect Gustave Eiffel or someone from his school of thought. The facade facing the first courtyard is naturally the most impressive part of the structure. To allow for the controlled entry of exported goods into the city, two large gates were built on the right and left sides of the building.


Until 1925, the customs building was in the hands of a French company and was then transferred to İzmir Port and Gulf Operations. In 1934, the company was purchased by the state.


As the building was used by many institutions for various functions over time, it had become quite worn out and derelict by the 1990s. The first rescue intervention came in 1995, when the building’s survey drawings were made. It took 9 months to clean up the approximately 365,000 ton steel structure from the rust. After the building’s durability was ensured, the paint was applied in accordance with the original, and the roof lights and windows were restored in accordance with the original. In 2004, the building was opened to the public as a shopping center, thus becoming the French customs or, under its new name, Konak Pier, one of İzmir’s iconic structures.

Big Kardıçalı Inn

In 1910, Ibrahim Bey, the grandson of Halil Onbasi who lived in the agricultural village of Kardiça in central Greece, moved to Izmir with his sister and some family members after thinking that they could not stay in Kardiça. He bought a building at the port for his first business venture.


Ibrahim Bey, one of the first Turkish tobacco traders in Izmir, quickly turned the building, which was previously a hotel, into a trade house for agricultural products. Ibrahim primarily dealt with tobacco but also traded in figs and grapes. When the building became insufficient, Ibrahim began building the Great Kardiça Han in the corner where the 2nd Kordon and Mimar Kemalettin streets intersected. The building was one of the first in Turkey to be built with reinforced concrete. The wood was imported from Italy, the iron from Germany, and the cement from Romania. The building was completed in 1928 and opened for use. The architect was Mehmet Fesçi Bey, who was one of the important architects of the Republic era.


According to the records at that time, it is said that the building was known as the Kardiça Ibrahim Bey Apartments. The han, which covers an area of two thousand square meters, is one of the important structures of the First National Architecture Movement. The building has two metal false domes in the corners facing the Mimar Kemalettin street and the 2nd Kordon street. Pointed arched windows were used on the second floor. The building has reliefs with floral motifs; on the window dividing plasters, on the pointed arched windows on the second floor, under the domes, and on the balconies.


In addition, the windows in the building show different features on each floor. The han has more than 100 rooms, and its corridors have high ceilings. The corridors are illuminated through an opening that extends from the roof to the ground in the center of the han. This opening is covered with a glass cover. The upper floors of the han can be reached by two stairs. There was an elevator that used to be accessed from the east staircase at some point, but the elevator is not in use now and is kept on the second floor.


In 1952, after the death of Ibrahim Kardiça, his heirs sold some of the shops and rented others out. Currently, the han has 20 heirs. The building gradually became neglected and dilapidated. The han underwent renovation in 2003.



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