In Konak district of Izmir, there is a historical elevator that provides transportation between two streets. This historical elevator in Izmir is a place that those who come to Izmir for the first time definitely want to see. Because besides experiencing history, they also witness the magnificent view of Izmir.
The pleasure of watching the beauty of Izmir and the gulf view from high up is through the Historical Elevator. This historical structure connects Mithat Pasha Street below and Halil Fırat Pasha Street above. 155 stairs to cross between the streets without having to climb the stairs, there is a small restaurant on the top floor of the historic elevator where you can eat, drink tea or organize some events. At Asansör Restaurant, you can have tea, coffee or soda in the warmer seasons while enjoying the magnificent view. The prices are not exaggerated, it is worth sitting and breathing in this view.
There are 2 elevators in total in the tower where the Historical Elevator is located. Previously, the one on the left was powered by steam and the one on the right by electricity, but with the restoration it underwent in 1985, the steam powered elevator was also powered by electricity. The exterior of the building, which consists of 4 sections, starts with stone blocks and gradually narrows upwards after the stone, which is built with bricks.
Inside the elevator is another world. You can feel like you are traveling through a time tunnel as you travel from bottom to top or top to bottom. Dario Moreno touches your ears in the background music. Old photo albums accompany you, touching your eyes.
The street leading to Mithat Pasha from the Historic Elevator, which has a unique panorama of the city, was named Dario Moreno Street because it was the street where the famous Turkish guitarist and actor Dario Moreno lived.
Who is Dario Moreno?
The Aydın-born artist, who was close to music throughout his life, moved to Izmir at a young age and gave his first concert in the casino on the Konak ferry pier. Later, together with his mother Madame Roza, they settled on the street below the elevator, which has been called Dario Moreno Street since 1992. Dario Moreno Street, with its historic stone houses, is naturally called Asansör or Asansör Street because of the historic elevator next to it. Dario Moreno’s house at the end of the street, which is accompanied by gum houses, which have a style unique to the Aegean and therefore only in Izmir and its surroundings, and which have a cute architectural structure with a maximum of three floors, has a written will in his house, so you can understand how much he loved Izmir.
Izmir, my sweet and beloved city. If one day I die far away from you, let them bring me to you. But when they take me to my grave, let them not say “dead”, let them say “sleeping”. My sweet Izmir in your bosom.
Dario Moreno, who was born in Aydın but was a lover of Izmir and presented himself as a native of Izmir, had many beautiful songs, some of which he translated from French into Turkish. Her Akşam (Every Evening (Vodka, Raki and Wine), Deniz ve Mehtap are some of them. There is also a bust of Dario Moreno on Asansör Street, along with a bust of the Algerian-born French singer Enrico Macias holding a guitar.
Short information about Izmir Historic Elevator
So why is there a height of 58 meters between these streets? As the name suggests, the coastline of the Karataş region has historically been used as a quarry. It was difficult for the residents of these streets to climb up and down the dozens of stairs, so a Jewish philanthropist took matters into his own hands.
As the inscription in a round medallion on the entrance door of the elevator reveals, the Historical Elevator was built in 1907 by a businessman named Nesim Levi Bayraklıoğlu – he was given the surname Bayraklıoğlu after the surname law, because Nesim Levi was in charge of the sewing of the Turkish flags in Izmir. Nesim Levi is the grandfather of Mario Levi, the world-famous French writer who once won the Haldun Taner Story Prize. In 1942, the elevator was sold to Şerif Remzi Reyent and after his death, it was left to his niece Ayla Ökmen. Ms. Ayla donated the elevator to the municipality in 1983.
What are the entrance fee and opening hours of Izmir Historic Elevator?
Entrance to the Historic Elevator, which has a wonderful view and is identified with Dario Moreno, is free of charge. The Historic Elevator operates between 08:00 in the morning and 00:00 at night.
Where is Izmir Historic Elevator and how to get there?
If you go to the Historical Elevator via GPS, it will direct you to the upper side where Nihatbey Street is. If you are coming by car, you need to park your car at a spot you find empty before you arrive at the Historic Elevator. If you are coming via Mithatpaşa Street, take Dario Moreno Street, at the end of the road on the right is the free parking lot of the Historical Elevator, you can also park there if it is empty.