The historical building on the street where cats cannot enter without permission, Historical Elevator, is located in the Karataş region of Konak district of Izmir. Karataş was a district where Jewish families lived in ancient times. It is located between the current Mithatpaşa Street and Halil Rıfat Paşa Street. It is said that at that time, it was almost impossible to provide transportation between the two districts because there were cliffs between these two streets. In order to solve the transportation problem between these two settlements, a historical staircase with 155 steps was built, which the Turks called ‘Karataş stairs’ and the Jews living in the upper part of these districts called ‘Stairs of Devidas’.

After the 155-step staircase was built, the head of the Devidas family fell down the stairs and broke his foot. It is said that his close friend Nesim Levi Bayraklıoğlu decided to have an elevator built instead of these stairs, as a result of the information and training he received from abroad after this incident. The elevator is accessed from the street named after the famous singer from İzmir “Dario Moreno” on Mithat Paşa Street. In our words, it is reached through the street where cats cannot enter without permission. We are sure you will understand this expression when you go there.

When you step into the street, you are first greeted by Dario Moreno’s statue and the lyrics of the song “Canım İzmir” on the sign. As we progress, we gradually begin to see the Elevator. There are also many cafes on the street where you can sit and chat with your friends. Our choice was “İpek Hanım’s Farm”. Its decoration that taking you back to the past and architecture were fascinating. Also, the drinks were very nice. Since we get exhausted from heat, we preferred orange juice and lemonade. But there were also many drinks, desserts and pastries on the menu.

When we finished the street and reached the elevator, the huge elevator welcomed us. We had to raise our heads quite high to see it all. When we get into the elevator, Dario Moreno’s song “Canım İzmir”, which we read at the beginning of the street, welcomes us. 

It was very enjoyable to go up, see the view of Karataş while singing, and read the historical information on the walls of the elevator. When we got off the elevator, the view of Izmir that greeted us took us to the following words of Dario Moreno:

“My dear Izmir, Izmir, my sweet and beloved city…

If one day I die far away from you, Let them bring me to you… But when I am left in your bosom, let them not say ‘He is dead’, let them say ‘He is sleeping’ in your bosom… My sweet Izmir…

We always had this song in our minds, whether we were chatting while sitting on the stairs or sitting on the Aşıklar Hill… You should also see the city where this song was written from here…”

                                                                                                                                                Damla A. & Ece K.

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