İzmir seeks World Heritage status for four zones

İzmir seeks World Heritage status for four zones

İzmir seeks World Heritage status for four zones

The Aegean province of İzmir, Turkey’s third largest by population, is seeking World Heritage status for four zones to be inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List: The Historical Port City, Birgi village, Gediz Delta and the Foça, Çandarlı and Çeşme castles.

In a written statement made by the İzmir Metropolitan Municipality, “the works are in progress,” Mayor Tunç Soyer said.

“We are working devotedly with all partners in İzmir, particularly with the Culture and Tourism Ministry, to crown İzmir with more UNESCO World Heritage statuses. Because İzmir is a very important area on a world scale with its cultural and natural values.”

The city will increase the number of UNESCO sites and the brand value of the city with its sustainable tourism understanding, said the mayor.

The ancient city of Ephesus and Bergama Multilayered Cultural Landscape Area, also known as Pergamon, have been already included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Ephesus is an outstanding example of a Roman port city, with a sea channel and harbor basin. Excavations have revealed grand monuments of the Roman Imperial period including the Library of Celsius and the Great Theater.

The remains of the famous Temple of Artemis, one of the “Seven Wonders of the World,” draws pilgrims from all around the Mediterranean. Since the 5th century, the House of the Virgin Mary, a chapel seven kilometers from Ephesus, became a major place of Christian pilgrimage.

The Multilayered Cultural Landscape Area contains layers of Pergamon, Hellenistic, Roman, Eastern Roman, and Ottoman Periods. The city, the capital of the Hellenistic Kingdom of Pergamum, was an important educational center. Bergama, which later became the capital of the Asian Empire of the Roman Empire, hosted Asklepion that is one of the most important health centers of its period.

The historical port city located between Kadifekale and Kemeraltı has a cultural memory of 2,500 years. It is defined as a multi-layered open-air museum that contains the traces of the Hellenistic period, ancient Rome, Byzantine, Ottoman and modern Turkey.

Kemeraltı bazaar, known as one of the largest and oldest open-air shopping centers in the world, has a very colorful cultural structure with its mosques, churches and synagogues. There are more than 2,000 registered monumental and architectural examples.

Birgi village is one of the rare settlements that has preserved its unique traditional architectural texture to the present day. It has a large number of registered buildings that have survived to the present day with its mansions, mosques, tombs, madrasas, baths, fountains and many other works.

The Foça, Çandarlı, and Çeşme castles constitute a part of the Genoese trade route. Foça Castle was an important commercial port during the Genoese period, while Çandarlı Castle attracted attention with its robustness and magnificent structure.

Gediz Delta, which hosts 289 different bird species throughout the year, is one of the most important wetlands in Turkey. The delta is classified as “Important Bird Area and Key Biodiversity Area and Key Biodiversity Area” that was also designated as a Ramsar site.