14 museums you must see


Izmir, with a history of about 8500 years, is a city that has hosted many civilizations from the Ionians to the Lydians, from the Persians to the Roman Empire and Byzantium. Thus, there are many museums in the city, which is a reflection of this situation. If you are thinking of going to Izmir, you can take a short trip to these civilizations thanks to the museums of Izmir. This is what you need to see Izmir museums.

1. Izmir Ataturk Museum

Let’s start our article about the museums of Izmir with the Ataturk Museum. The Izmir Ataturk Museum is located on the 1st Cordon. The museum building, which is very easy to reach, was actually built by carpet merchant Takfor Efendi between 1875 and 1880.

When the building, abandoned by its owner on September 9, 1922, became the property of the treasury, it was used for some time as the headquarters of the Turkish army that entered Izmir. On October 13, 1926, it was bought by the municipality and presented to Atatürk.

Atatürk stayed at this house every time he came to Izmir between 1930 and 1934. When he died, the municipality of Izmir turned the mansion into a museum. The museum building, built in the neoclassical style; Only 4 floors: basement, entrance, 1st floor and attic. When you visit the museum, also known as the Gazi Mansion, you can see Atatürk’s bedroom, study, meeting room, guest room, bathroom, hairdresser, library, and reception area.

2. Ethnographic Museum of Izmir

The historical building, which now houses the Izmir Ethnographic Museum, was built in St. Petersburg. It was built by the French as a hospital and Roja monastery. The building, which in the early years of the republic was used as an orphanage, was used in the following years as a service building of the Public Health Institution and the Health Department. In 1984, it was transferred to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and became the Ethnographic Museum.

You can see excerpts from the social life of the inhabitants of Izmir in the 19th century in the Ethnographic Museum, which is located on the same land as the Izmir Archaeological Museum. In addition to this, handicrafts such as pottery, tinsmithing, horseshoe making, wood stuffing, felt making, carpet weaving and beadwork against the evil eye are being introduced through mannequins, which are on the verge of extinction. On the other hand, the Ittihat Pharmacy exhibited in the museum attracts special attention of visitors, since it is the first Turkish pharmacy.

3. Archaeological Museum of Izmir

The Izmir Archaeological Museum, one of the first museums in Western Anatolia, was first established in 1924 in the Ayavukla Church in Basman. In 1984, it was put into operation in a new building in Bahri Baba Park in Konak. On the ground floor of the Izmir Archaeological Museum, which houses rich artifacts from distant and recent history, is the Hall of Stone Works. Fascinating sculptures, busts, portraits and masks are exhibited here.

Ord. prof. Ekrema Akurgala’s Ceramics Hall displays a variety of works from prehistoric times to the Byzantine period. The statue of Androcles, one of the museum’s most striking exhibits dating from the Roman period, is believed to belong to Androklos, the founder of Ephesus.

4. Izmir Museum of History and Art

The Izmir Museum of History and Art was opened in 2004, displaying sculptures and reliefs from the Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic and Roman periods in and around Izmir. The museum displays heads and statuettes found in the Izmir Agora, a statue of the god of the river Kaistros, one of the most outstanding works of the Roman period, inscriptions discovered during the construction of the metro, various statues from the excavations of the Metropolis, friezes from the exhibited Temple of Theos Dionysus and finds from prehistoric settlements around Izmir. The Precious Items section has glassware, bronze sculptures, a treasury and display cases with coins.

5. Izmir Museum of Painting and Sculpture

Located in close proximity to the Atatürk Cultural Center in Konak, the Izmir Museum of Painting and Sculpture provides services in a three-story building. The museum has more than 400 valuable works, featuring the work of many artists from the Tanzimat period to the Impressionists of the Challi generation, from the Union of Independent Artists and Sculptors to the artists of Group D and the Yeniler Group. The building, which in addition to the museum part has two exhibition halls, also hosts courses in traditional crafts such as illumination, miniature, marble and tile work.

6. Selçuk Museum of Ephesus

Izmir museums

The Ephesus Museum houses rich artifacts from the Mycenaean, Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman periods in and around Ephesus. Located in the Selçuk area, the museum is about 1 hour from the city center. Despite this, the Ephesus Selçuk Museum remains one of the most visited museums in Izmir. The statue of Artemis is one of the works that attract the most attention from visitors. Historical artifacts such as the statue of Isis, the head of Socrates, the statue of Priapus and Eros from Yunus are among the museum’s most valuable exhibits.

7. Natural History Museum of the Aegean University

Izmir museums

The Natural History Museum of the Aegean University, which is the second largest museum in our country among its peers, is also the first academic museum in Turkey with its postgraduate program and academic staff. Located on the Bornova campus of the Aegean University, the museum contains 10 to 15 million year old animals, 350 million year old plants and invertebrate fossils brought from various regions of Turkey. The human footprint, thought to be from the first era, and the museum’s 2,000-year-old elephant skeleton are certainly noteworthy.

8. Izmir Mask Museum

Izmir museums

Masks with names such as Atatürk, Ismet İnönü, Ashik Veysel, Atilla Ilhan, Nazim Hikmet and Mehmet Akif Ersoy are exhibited at the Mask Museum, one of the boutique museums in Izmir. Here is the death mask of the famous master of Turkish literature, Aziz Nesin. In the museum, which also exhibits Anatolian masks, theatrical masks and ritual masks, visitors can take a mask master class.

9. Memorial house of the Latife Khanym mansion

Izmir museums

The spiritual value of the mansion of Latife Hanim is great, because the mother of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Zubeyde Hanim, spent the last days of her life. The restored mansion houses the wax statues of Ataturk, Zubeyde and Latifa. It is said that the two tall cypress trees in the garden of the mansion, where items from that period are also exhibited, were planted for Atatürk and Latife Hanım. If you are planning to visit the memorial house in Karsiyaka, we definitely recommend that you spend time in the dining room, which is intertwined with nature.

10. Izmir Women’s Museum

Izmir museums

Izmir Women’s Museum, one of the boutique museums, is also the first women’s museum in our country. Located in Basman, the museum has a total of 13 rooms with different concepts such as an exhibition hall, video art, women from the past to the present, pioneer women, collections, protest and women.

11. Museum of games and games Umran Baradan

Izmir museums

The Umran Baradan Toy and Play Museum, which is the first toy museum in Izmir and one of the few in Turkey, exhibits toys collected by Izmir ceramic artist and artist Umran Baradan from different parts of the world. The museum, which is within walking distance of the Archaeological Museum, the Ethnographic Museum and the Kemeralti Historical Bazaar, consists of two floors. In addition to toys, the museum exhibits the works of talented children who won diplomas at competitions.

12. Science Museum

The Science Museum, the first in the Aegean, is organized so that people of all ages can learn by observing and experimenting with the principles and theories that underlie science. The museum, which aims to teach the basic principles of science, discover technology and demonstrate the impact of science and technology on our daily lives, especially for children aged 12 to 15, has 60 learning stations, about 100 experimental installations and about 15 interactive kiosks. The Science Museum is located in Karsiyaka and is visited by experts on the subject during the visit.

13. House of Ismet İnönü

Izmir museums

The house in which İsmet İnönü, Atatürk’s comrade-in-arms, the first prime minister and second president of the Republic of Turkey, was born in 1884, now serves as a museum. In the museum, where the things and clothes of Ismet İnönü are exhibited, special ceremonies are held on the days of the birth anniversary (September 24) and the death of İnönü (December 25). The street of this house in Konak has been named “Inönü Street” by the municipality in recent years.

14. Mansion of Ushakizade Latife Khanim

Izmir museums

Ushaqizade Mansion, located in Göztepe, was built by Usakizade Sadiq Bey in 1860. The mansion, consisting of a total of 3 floors, including Bodrum, is very valuable in terms of morality in terms of the marriage of Gazi Mustafa Kemal Pasha with Latife Hanim here on January 29, 1923. Marriage is also important in terms of doing civil marriage today. However, Atatürk used the mansion for some time in 1922 as the “headquarters of the commander in chief”. The mansion of Ushakizade Latife Hanım, which became the property of the Izmir Private Turkish College in 1979, can be visited as a museum since 2001.

We have come to the end of our Izmir museum content! However, if you are planning to visit Izmir, there are dozens of other interesting places for you to see. Here are a few of them:

What to visit in Izmir? 22 places you must see in Izmir, the pearl of the Aegean!

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