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Kemeralti, Grand Bazaar of Izmir

Between Konak Square and the Agora of Izmir lies the Kemaralti Bazaar, known as the Grand Bazaar of Izmir, with hundreds of commercial and religious buildings (historical mosques and synagogues).

Kemeralti is itself an entire historic district originally formed around the street surrounding the interior of a very shallow bay that was filled then to extend the neighborhood and market area. The process of gaining ground across the bay continued in 1744 with the construction of Kızlaragası Han, an impressive still standing caravanserai that emerged as the core of the market, along with two other “hans” which were destroyed over time and some fires in the area.

The creation of the Hisar Mosque in 1592 was the big push for the emergence of this area, the oldest and one of the most important Ottoman monuments of Smyrna, even when it was built by Yakup Bey Aydınoğlu, a descendant of the dynasty that controlled Izmir, Ephesus and other nearby areas, before the Ottoman conquest.

The Kemaralti Bazaar is the heart of the city and a great place to get lost in for a few hours. There you can achieve excellent deals, including leather goods, clothing and jewelry. We also recommend touring the small markets of flowers and beads, stop for a coffee or tea and no doubts about it, visit the Kızlaragası Han, a version of the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul that, although very touristy, shows interesting and beautiful items from the final years of the Silk Road.


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