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This agora and the massive stone arches of its cryptoportico are a highlight of İzmir. The agora was originally built by the Greeks during the 4th century B.C., but the arches date back to 178 A.D. After an earthquake destroyed the original structure, the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius ordered that it be rebuilt.
The city of Smyrna was established in the 3rd century B.C. by Alexander the Great, and the Agora would have been the center of life in this prosperous city. Eventually the city became part of the Roman Empire, and its location made it an important center for trade.
Today, this underground network of arches and their skylit vaults support ruins of portico structures above. These arches and their history remind us of the beauty and longevity of structural masonry.