Monday, September 19, 2016

P is for Pergamon, Turkey

When we lived in Turkey, we tried to visit as many historical sites as we could. We loved taking road trips over the long holiday weekends during the year and exploring the ancient ruins, which I still think are even better than ones in Greece. On one such Turkey trip, we visited the historical site of Pergamon, an ancient Greek city, located 26 km (16 miles) from the Aegean Sea and about 90 minutes north of Izmir.

Pergamon (also called Pergamum) was settled by the Greeks in the 8th century BC, and was ruled by one of Alexander the Great’s generals around 320 BC as part of the Kingdom of Pergamon. The city was given to the Roman Republic in 133 BC to prevent a civil war, and briefly became the capital of the Roman province of Asia before the capital was transferred to Ephesus. The latter history included many different rulers and conquerors as well as a damaging earthquake that pretty much displaced the population. In 2014, Pergamon was added to the UNESCO World heritage list for Turkey.

Pergamon also is considered an important Biblical place as it is cited in the Book of Revelation as one of the Seven Churches of Asia.

As usual, the Greeks picked an excellent natural setting for a theater, with a view that extends for miles and would have included Aegean Sea views approximately 2,000 years ago. The acropolis of Pergamum covers a steep hilltop, so you can only imagine how much Greek and Roman civil engineering work went into creating this amazing structure!
Just hanging out at the ancient Greek theater at Pergamon, Turkey.
Another interesting fact is that Pergamum was a great center of learning and once had a huge library of 200,000 scrolls that were (probably and unfortunately) given to Cleopatra by Marc Antony as a wedding gift in 41 BC. At least, you can still see the remains of the library here today.

During our visit, we simply enjoyed walking around the site of Pergamon on our own and taking photos as often as possible. It still amazes me how many historical sites like this Turkey has and that locals as well as archaeologists are still discovering these today such as a Poseidon mosaic recently found in southwestern Turkey.


I’m linking this post to the monthly travel guide link up organized by Fiona, a fellow Australian blogger, at Tiffin Bite Sized Food Adventures. Each month features a new letter of the alphabet. This month is the letter “P.” Please pop on over to Fiona’s blog to read more travel stories or feel free to link up your own!
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sherry from sherrys pickings said...

how fascinating. i love ancient ruins as you can see in my linky photo this month:) they were very clever those Greeks and Romans. I have fond memories of going to the ruins in Delphi, where we were just about the only ones around. good times.

Tiffin Fiona said...

So it seems that all the entries this month are about ruins. Quite a coincidence. We visited Pergamon on our trip to Turkey in 2010 but our first exposure to it was in 1996 in Berlin. We have some time to kill and heavy backpacks so we visited the Pergamon Museum and saw the altar. Of course, this was all pre-internet and we'd never heard of it but it was very impressive and always stayed with us. We visited again in August 2010 after our visit to Turkey and it was just as good as I recalled. One of my favourite photos is a group of my friends standing on the pillars at Pergamon, pretending to be statues.