It was first founded in present day Bayraklı in 3000 B.C. İzmir, ancient Smyrna, grew in size and importance more than the other ancient cities because of its fertile soil and its bay. Thus the city has always been distinctive because it marked the end of the road for the caravans and it was a commercial center.
In history, Izmir was the city of culture and arts. It is known that some great scientists and philosophers; such as Homer, Thales, Anaximenes and Anaximander lived here.
The city witnessed centuries of successive conquests and civilizations. Hellenistic, Byzantine and Ottoman civilizations are the major ones.
Izmir, destroyed during the War of Liberation, was chosen to establish a fair and in time, it has become the most important international trade fair in the country.
There are very few traces of ancient Smyrna. The new city was established on a site near the Fortress of Kadife Kale, which is the foremost ancient monument in the city. It offers a splendid panorama of the city.
Many cultural and natural sites around the city -Çeşme, Pergamon, Kuşadası, Selçuk, Priene, Miletus and Didyma- are worth a visit more than the city itself. The city of ancient Erythrai is near Çeşme. The city of Teos is famous for having the ruins the largest Temple of Dionysos in the world. It was built in the 2nd century B. C. The Temple of Apollo, built in the same century, was one of the famous oracles of its time and the remains of the temple can be seen today. Tha ruins of Nysa, built in the 3rd century B.C., are on the Izmir – Denizli road.
Strabo, the famous geographer, wrote that he was educated in this city. The theatre, the bridge, the stadium and the gymnasium of this ancient city are worth visiting.