Through this excursion we can learn more about the Jewish legacy in Izmir, the beautiful Turkish city called by many La Perla del Egeo.
We will visit the Bet-Israel Synagogue in the neighborhood of the same name. This synagogue was built in 1907 and stands out for its beautiful wooden decorations. The two architectural pieces Tevah (Bima) and Torah (Ehal Akodesh) were made entirely of mahogany by the most famous masters of the time. The upper gallery of the synagogue has functions as a museum.
Then we go to the ancient commercial area of the Kemeralti Bazaar and visit Havra Street, which owes its name to the numerous synagogues erected along that road. In the 15th century, at the invitation of the Ottoman Empire, Jewish families from Spain emigrated to Izmir and settled on Havra Street and its surroundings. The area is known as the Jewish or Sephardic neighborhood, not only because of its large population, but also because of its success in the area of commerce, to which it infused a different and special quality.
This Jewish influence is not only latent in Havra street but in Izmir in general, with its traditions, customs and gastronomy. First we visited the Sinyora Geveret Synagogue, built in the 16th century; as well as those of Algazi and Shalom Aydinli, both of the seventeenth century. Most of these synagogues were influenced by the traditional Ottoman decorative style. At one time there were up to nine synagogues on the same street, but at present there are only four open to worship.
After these visits we will have free time to shop at the Kemeralti Bazaar, one of the largest in Turkey and the most colorful and lively of Izmir; as well as on two floors of the Kizlaragasi building, built by the Ottomans in the 18th century, but which is now used as a commercial center.
Visit procedure of the synagogues in Izmir (Izmir):
A special permit is required from the secretariat of the Izmir Jewish community, so they should send us in advance the full names, passport numbers and address of origin, by fax or email. Our agency will be in charge of obtaining said permission, in favor of our clients.