Konak Meydanı

A great place to start a day in İzmir is at Konak Meydanı. The square is the busiest in the city. It’s surrounded by government buildings and is full of street vendors, children feeding (and chasing) pigeons, and lots and lots of pigeons.

Konak Meydanı in Izmir, Turkey

Konak Meydanı

Konak Meydanı in Izmir, Turkey

Konak Meydanı

Balloons + birdseed = kids and pigeons in Izmir, Turkey

Balloons + birdseed = kids and pigeons

Man contributing to the pigeon population in Izmir, Turkey

Man contributing to the pigeon population

In the center of the square is a very ornate clock tower called İzmir Saat Kulesi. It was built in 1901 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Sultan Abdülhamit II’s accession to the throne. The clock was a gift from Kaiser Wilhelm II. It was designed by Levantine French architect Raymond Charles Père. It looks really amazing at night, too. Click here for a virtual tour.

İzmir Saat Kulesi in Izmir, Turkey

İzmir Saat Kulesi

İzmir Saat Kulesi in Izmir, Turkey

İzmir Saat Kulesi

İzmir Saat Kulesi in Izmir, Turkey

İzmir Saat Kulesi

Behind the clock tower (or in front, to the left, or right, depending on where you’re standing), there’s an adorable little mosque (if mosques can be adorable), called the Konak Camii. It was built in 1755. Click here for a virtual tour.

Konak Camii in Izmir, Turkey

Konak Camii

Konak Camii in Izmir, Turkey

Konak Camii

Konak Camii in Izmir, Turkey

Konak Camii

The government buildings on the square are the İzmir city hall and the Hükümet Konağı, which was built in 1872 and houses the offices for the İzmir Province. The square is named after this building.

Hükümet Konağı in Izmir, Turkey

Hükümet Konağı

A large park with a small section containing a cactus garden covers the southern part of the square. A pedestrian street along the park has more buildings and a shopping mall along it.

Konak Meydanı in Izmir, Turkey

Konak Meydanı

Cactus garden in Izmir, Turkey

Cactus garden

Cactus garden in Izmir, Turkey

Cactus garden

A block inland is the İzmir Milli Kütüphane (national library), built in 1933. Attached to it on the left is the İzmir Opera ve Balesi (opera and ballet), originally built in 1926 as the Elhamra Sineması, a movie theatre. The world’s first “talkie”, The Jazz Singer, was shown there.

İzmir Milli Kütüphane (right) and İzmir Opera ve Balesi (left) in Izmir, Turkey

İzmir Milli Kütüphane (right) and İzmir Opera ve Balesi (left)

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