Izmir is the third largest city in Turkey and might have been significantly more important to architectural history and the tourism business if it hadn’t suffered a terrible fire about a hundred years ago which wiped out a lot of its best buildings (or so we are told). Still I had a lovely day there wandering around while my luggage reposed in a train station locker, before heading on to Selcuk that evening. I enjoyed the contrast of shiny new city with rambling old town alley ways and I was really taken with its small but charming pair of museums (archaeology and ethnology). Here’s my ramble in photos.
The Konakj Clocktower is a landmark on the very pretty shorefront promenade.
As with so many Turkish buildings of a certain age it is a riot of pattern. I really can’t get over it.
A wander up the hill brought me to the small but good archaeology museum.
I was a little troubled by the fact that they were storing so many of their artifacts outside (something that certainly wouldn’t fly in my home climate) but it looks like construction is under way to get them covered at least.
Lovely roman details.
I noticed that the roman statuary I’ve encountered here in Turkey seems to be differently garbed than that in Italy. The clothing is more complicated and also much more “wrapped.” I don’t know if this signifies a different era of fashion or an early move toward the more covered female form that has prevailed until today in this area.
Again – lots of wrapping – over the arms as well as around the body.
And again, wrapping of fabric over the arms. Its certainly not colder here than in Italy.
The museum was nicely daylit (with hidden windows behind each alcove) but the supplemental automatic lights on motion sensors made me jump when they came on.
I love this image of the roman city.
In the nearby anthropology museum – I made chain mail very much like this for my high schools production of macbeth. I bet this suit saw more action though.
This dish caught my eye as I was leaving and I stood and tried to capture its crazy amount of pattern for more than two hours. The richness of pattern here in the east continuously blows my mind.
The Fatih Mosque is just uphill from the museums. The hill made it impossible to get a good exterior shot.
But the minaret was lovely
The interior was much brighter (and less blue) than i’ve become accustomed to see.
The local Izmir tile is multi colored and clearly distinct from the more pervasive and famous Iznik tile.
This alcove show both – Izmir tile surrounding Iznik.
The view out across the bay – it really is a very large city.
I never did catch the name of this totally stunning little Mosque – it wasn’t labeled on my map.
The entry area was double heighted with flanking spiral stair cases going up to the women’s area.
This detail is not just painted on – there are three dimensional elements as well.
The view down from the women’s area.
The ancient roman forum. Despite its modern apearance in most areas, Izmir is more than 3000 years old.
I love this contrast.
The old town.
Classic Turkish projecting alcoves.
This is the view of the street in one direction
And here is a 180 rotation. The old city is hidden right behind the new.
I love the contrast of fancy station area hotel and random pile of scrap for sale as firewood
Before I caught my train I wandered into this women’s clothing store.
This is what the well dressed religious conservative wears in Turkey. I think its a fairly practical compromise – if hot in summer.
Ankle length coats in every cut and color.