The capital of the Aegean region, Izmir, or Smyrna as it was known in ancient times, is the third largest city in Turkey, with origins dating back some eight thousand years. Epic poet Homer was reportedly born here in the mid-800s BC. Izmir is a comparatively modern city, with many of its traditional architecture destroyed in a devastating fire during the War of Independence in the 1920s. Izmir’s iconic marble clock tower, 25 metres in height and designed by Frenchman Raymond Charles Père in 1901, is perhaps its most recognisable symbol. The popular Kordon, a seaside promenade which stretches the entire length of the city, lends itself easily to sunset drinks and pleasant evening strolls.