Kusadasi History

In the 10th century BC, the “12 Ionian Cities” were established, including Ephesus, which was the most prosperous and well-known city of the time. The annual meeting place of the Ionian League, Panionian, was founded around Kusadasi, and the cities of Phygale, Marathesion, and Neopolis were established within its borders. However, the Persian invasion in 546 BC brought changes to the city, and Kusadasi came under the domination of the Roman Empire in 200 BC. With the division of the Roman Empire, it became a state of Byzantine. Due to climate changes and earthquakes, Ephesus lost its importance, and Byzantines had to search for a new port and a new road suitable for trading. The area around Neopolis was found to be convenient by Greek, Jewish, and Armenian merchants, and a new port called “Scala Nova” was established, adding a new trading center to the prior historical cities.

After the First World War, Kusadasi was invaded by the Greeks in 1919, but the fishing village fought back and became part of the Turkish Republic in 1922. The city became a capital of Aydin in 1954 and experienced significant development, especially in tourism. Today, Kusadasi is a sophisticated holiday destination, famous for its sandy beaches and clear water, attracting many tourists each year. The city offers a unique atmosphere, combining lively holiday life with ancient ruins.

In the 15th century, “Scala Nova” came under the domination of Venetian and Genoese sailors and traders who established consulates in the city. The Ottoman Empire invaded Kusadasi in 1413, and during their reign, many glorious structures were built, giving the city a new look. The Okuz Mehmet Pasa Caravanserai, a principal example of Ottoman architecture in the city, was built by the vizier of the same name. The fortress gates, walls, and many mosques in the center of Kusadasi, as well as the citadel of the castle on Pigeon Island, were built during the Ottoman period.