European Route of Jewish Heritage
The European Route of Jewish Heritage (ERJH) is a platform that promotes developing tourism, cultural initiatives, and educational programs related to sites associated with European Jewish heritage. The route acts as a channel for intercultural dialogue, promotes a better knowledge and understanding of religious and daily artifacts of Jewish life, and fosters the recognition of the important role played by the Jewish people in European history.
In Türkiye, İzmir presents an unusual cluster of synagogues built in Sephardic architectural styles that are typical of the 16th century. Evidence of Jewish life in İzmir dates back to Hellenistic and Roman times. Archaeological findings such as the Sardis and Ephesus Synagogues point to a thriving Jewish community in the coastal city, known at the time as Smyrna. The synagogues in İzmir were built by decedents of Jews who were expelled from Spain and Portugal, and form a historical architectural complex consisting of nine adjacent synagogues that is unique in the world.