Rather like in French, the Turkish word Asanceur means lift/elevator and comes from the Latin word ascend. It is an apt but rather unimaginative name for one of Izmir's best-known tourist attractions. The Ascanceur is a large lift that leads to a viewing platform that affords a dramatic view across the city. Despite the rather mundane name, I very much enjoyed my trip there.
Before visiting Izmir, I had not heard of Asanceur and, consequently, had no plans to visit. We had originally planned to take a drive into the surrounding countryside or perhaps take a ferry to one of the islands off the coast. However, the weather was not so great, so we decided to stay within the city and my girlfriend's cousin suggested we go to Asanceur to take pictures across the city and to have a coffee overlooking the bay upon which Izmir is situated.
Obviously, the main point of attraction for any viewing platform is the view itself. However, Asanceur was also rather nice architecturally speaking as well. The elevator is situated in an imposing old building made of red bricks. As you might expect it is tall and thin, which gave me the idea that it was almost like a chimney. It was built in the early part of the last century and the style, with hard lines, but several delicate touches really epitomises that.
The view from the platform was amazing, even if the weather was poor. It took in the whole bay of Izmir, which leads from the city at its base out to sea. The water was wonderfully busy with lots of container whips at anchor and scores of ferries buzzing about between the two sides of the bay. The mountains on either side of the bay also rose up from the water quite imperiously. The tops of these were still clear and unspoiled, but the lower areas were crammed with houses and a startling density of population. It really was a very full and busy view.
There is a coffee shop and a restaurant situated on the Asanceur platform. We stopped there for a coffee, which proved to be a fantastic place to sit, relax and admire the view. Asanceur is free to use and the view is quite remarkable, I would definitely recommend it. It is situated in the Konak area of Izmir.