Kızlar Ağası Inn
Kızlarağası Inn is located in the modern Kemeraltı Bazaar. The area used to be a natural inner harbor and the Inn was adjacent to the Hisar Mosque and Port Castle on the coast. Designed with a square plan, the two-story stone and brick inn has a large rectangular courtyard, where once were a shadirvan and a masjid, neither of which remained today. It is a rare example of Ottoman architecture in the region with the decorated marble fountain at its main entrance.
During the early 18th century, the Izmir district flourished with rapid economic development due to the increasing port trade. The Kızlarağası Inn was constructed in 1745 as the capacity of existing inns was insufficient to accommodate loaded caravans on their way to the Port of Izmir. At the time, the inn was known as “Hacı Beşir Inn.”
Hacı Beşir Ağa was the apprentice to Eunuch Yapraksız Ali Ağa at the Ottoman palace, and was promoted as treasurer when Ahmed III ascended to the throne. Among his many charities at the time, Kızlarağası Inn was particularly substantial with its favorable location on the coast and specific accommodation style for long distance travelers.
As the inner harbor started to fill in during the early 19th century, the inn lost its advantage by the pier and shifted service style. While the authentic design did not include access except through the main gate, later the exterior walls of the rooms on the ground floor were removed to allow store and warehouse functions. Over time, the upper levels deteriorated, and following the 1846 earthquake the building was demolished after each block was numbered for reconstruction. Reconstructed with concrete, the original construction materials of the inn were used as coating.
Kızlarağası Inn remains a significant tourist attraction in Izmir with its central location, various stores catering to different tastes, and an overall authentic atmosphere.