Izmir Theater (Smyrna Kireclikaya)

At the site called Kireclikaya in the southeast of Kadifekale, stood the amphitheater of the city. It is on the slope of a hill overlooking the gulf of Izmir. There is nothing left of the amphitheater today but the stage wall.

To the north ,of the amphitheater, there was a covered group of columns called «stratonikeion». This was used as a place for audiences to take shelter from the rain, and also as a place for directing the choruses. The amphitheatre is likely to have been built in the age of Lysimachus. In the Hellenistic age there was only one theater in Izmir.

We read that after the great earthquake during the reign of Claudius (A.D. 41-54), the theater was built again. After another earthquake which did great damage to Izmir in 178 A.D., the amphitheater was reconstructed. This amphitheater was similar to those of Ephesus and Aspendos, and could hold about 16,000 people. The materials used in the construction of this amphitheater, the walls of which were still in fairly good condition until 1638, were later used in some other constructions in the city. It has been concluded that the length and the depth of the stage building were respectively 54 and 9 meters.



The Diana Baths : Some of the materials used in the construction of these baths, which were built around the sources of the historic stream of Meles, can now be seen in the pools of the water supply at Halkapmar. Aristides, the famous mystic, left us long descriptions of the Diana Baths. It is a historical fact that Homer, the great poet, wrote his poetry on the banks of these waters.

The Golden Way : In the Nam?k Kemal Park on the road between Ikiçe?melik and Esrefpasa, there is a portion of the marble street which used to go through the town from the west to the east in the Roman period. In the same park there are also three portions of the city walls built in the Hellenistic age. Another way, similar to the Golden Way, was found under the ground where the Hotel Sad?k Bey formerly stood.

Aqueducts : In the southeast of Izmir, over the stream of Kemer at K?z?leullu, there are two aqueducts built of stone and brick. They were built in the Roman period to carry the water from the other side of the stream to Izmir, and were also used for the same purpose in later times. Besides these aqueducts, there is another one called the Vezir Bridge at Sinekli. In order to see these aqueducts one can go to K?z?leullu, either from Esrefpasa or by way of the Izmir-Buca highway.


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