Former Smyrna, capital of the Aegean region, Izmir is also called the Pearl of Aegean. Izmir – the third biggest city and second biggest commercial harbor of Turkey - is considered by the Turks as the most beautiful and most modern city of the country.
In the year 2000 Izmir celebrates its 5000 years existence
The historical city, Smyrna, was actually founded in today’s Bayrakli are (north of modern Izmir center). Excavations have brought to light three city levels and a temple of Athens of the 7th century BC.
Closer to the city center, the ancient Agora, the new Archaeology Museum and the “Kadifekale” (a late Byzantine – early Ottoman “Velvet Castle) are some of the most important highlights of the city.
The Poet Homer, the first Christian martyr Polycarpus, the singer Dario Moreno and the former French Prime Minister, E. Balladur, are among famous Smyrniots.
Izmir was also one of the Seven Churches of the Book of Revelation and counts today a quite important Christian and Orthodox community.