At the foot of the highest hill in Izmir is the restored Agora, the market of ancient Smyrna. The impressively-sized open space is seen just as well from outside the chain-link fence as within.
Constructed during the rule of Alexander the Great, the Agora is today mostly in ruins. What little is left remains because of Faustina, wife of Marcus Aurelius, who had the agora rebuilt after an earthquake devastated the original in 178 AD.
The agora was excavated by German and Turkish archaeologists between 1932 and 1941. Surrounded on the west and north by colonnades, the agora once had a large altar dedicated to Zeus in the center. The altar is now gone, but statues of Poseidon and of Demeter believed to have come from the altar are on display in the Archaeological Museum.
A substantial part of the western colonnade is still standing. Look for a portrait of Faustina, the wife of Marcus Aurelius, on an arch in the colonnade.
Also visible at the site are various capitals, remnants of three of the four main gates, some recognizable stalls, architectural fragments bearing medieval coats of arms and a stone slab that may have been used as a gaming board.
Quick Facts on Izmir Agora
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|Coordinates:||38.418654° N, 27.138934° E (view on Google Maps)|
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Map of Izmir Agora
Below is a location map and aerial view of Izmir Agora. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.
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