Izmir Archeological Museum
The Izmir Archaeological Museum, near the Konak Square, is spectacular with its superb collection of antiquities from Ephesus, Aphrodisias, Miletus, Didyma, and other ancient legendary Anatolia (Western Turkey region) cities. If you have a love and appreciation for ancient culture, you won’t be disappointed . You will be admiring a fascinating journey through Aegean history and art spanning over eight thousand years. Some good advice is to go to the museum first before places like Pergamon, Ephesus, Priene, and Sardis in order for you to better appreciate the superiority of the brilliant artwork that adorned these ancient cities.
You will see the bronze Demeter (goddess of fertility) which was found in Halicarnasus, home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Tell your guide what your interests are as on the different floors you can find anything from small statues made of glass or bronze, jewelry, cooking utensils, lamps to marble sculptures, portraits, and marble busts which are exhibited near the entrance to the Izmir museum. Make sure to see the rare Bronze Athlete Sculpture that was found in Kyma. It’s lifelike motion and the material used makes it a true treasure.
And since you’re in the neighborhood of the Izmir Archaeology Museum, perhaps you’d like to see a collection of workshops showing the lost manual ways of saddle and glass making, leather tanning, copper works, carpet weaving and the authentic folkloric artifacts of carpets, traditional costumes and camel bridles. Yes, camel bridles. This will give you a chance to step back and see what, not so long ago, was a way of everyday life in the 1800s in Izmir and Turkey.
The Ethnographical Museum is in an old mansion that has reconstructed rooms from Ottoman home life including everything from a bridal chamber to a circumcision room, plus life sustaining talents of days gone by like: workshops for blue bead glass making (evil eye trinkets) printing,rope making and even a pharmacy.
It’s a fun easy way in a half hour, to learn as the subjects are illustrated with photos, and wax models of the people of the era. It’s very entertaining to step back into the 1800’s and see so many models of extinct or near extinct handicrafts.