Çeşme Museum


Çeşme's majestic Genoese-built fortress dates from 1508 and was later repaired by order of Sultan Beyazıt II, son of Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror, in order to defend the coast from attack by pirates. Impressively restored, it now houses the town's museum. Rooms in the Umur Bey tower and around the bailey (inner enclosure) house archaeological and historical exhibits, and the terraced bailey is filled with historic gravestones and stelae. The battlements offer excellent views of the town and harbour.

The archaeological finds come from nearby Erythrae (now Ildırı), as well as from the Bağlararası Bronze Age harbour settlement (tools, a curious stone phallus) and the Roman era (superb gold diadems). Two rooms in the tower house a comprehensive exhibit about Russian Empress Catherine the Great and the Russian-Ottoman naval battle of 5 July 1770, which occurred in Çeşme Bay. A decisive engagement of the Russo-Turkish War of 1768–74, the Russians were triumphant and the Ottoman fleet wiped out.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Çeşme attractions

1. Statue of Cezayirli Gazi Hasan Paşa

0.04 MILES

Facing the sea, with its back to the fortress, this statue shows the great Ottoman admiral (1713–90), who was sold into slavery but became a grand vizier…

2. Çeşme Belediye

0.05 MILES

The modern belediye (municipality) building is located on Cumhuriyet Meydanı.

3. Atatürk Statue

0.07 MILES

The great man is shown astride a horse in this large statue in Cumhuriyet Meydanı.

4. Ayios Haralambos Church

0.12 MILES

North of Çeşme Fortress, this imposing but decommissioned 19th-century Greek Orthodox church, fully restored in 2012, is used for temporary exhibitions.

5. Archaeological Museum

9.35 MILES

Along with prehistoric and Archaic treasures from the excavations of the British School at Emporios, this collection includes impressive Neolithic and…

7. Byzantine Museum

9.66 MILES

Housed in a 19th-century Ottoman mosque, the Medjitie Djami, this museum contains relics from the Byzantine, post-Byzantine, Genoese and Islamic periods,…

8. Giustiniani Palace Museum


Near the main gate of the kastro (castle) this tiny museum (or 'Palataki') still looks like the 15th-century fortress it once was. It houses rotating…