About Izmir, Pergamon

ANCIENT CITY OF PERGAMON - BERGAMA
 
Pergamon is located near the modern city Bergama, most famous as the home of Asclepion.  The success of the city is owed to Lysimachus, one of Alexander the Greats generals.  Lysimachas ruled until his death in the war over the Asian minor.  At which point the current governor, Philetarus took control of Pergamon.  It was in his and his nephews reign that the major sights including the Library and the Altar of Zeus were added to the Acropolis.

MAIN ATTRACTIONS

ACROPOLIS
The majority of the altar of Pergamon now sits in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, the only remaining part being the base of the altar.  This Altar was used to worship Zeus and possibly Trajan and Hadrian.

The Hellenistic Theatre was built into the hillside to conserve space and take maximum advantage of the spectacular views.  The design is not typical in round and wide proportions, but instead dramatically higher, with a seating capacity of 10,000; the steepest theatre known in the ancient world.

The library of the Acropolis is the second best in Greek civilization.  It is believe that the library contained 200,000 volumes.  The Pergamenes created a new type of parchment to replace the papyrus shortages, called codices.  This was made of fine calf skin.

Other ruins to see while visiting the scropolis include the Sanctuary fo Trajan, the Sanctuary of Athena, the Royal Palaces, The Heroon; a shrine to the kings of Pergamon, the Temple of Dionysus, the Upper Agora and the Roman baths complex.

ASCLEPIUS
Asclepius was an ancient medical centre, using alternative treatments to heal sick patients, with diagnosis often coming from dream analysis.  Treatments included; bathing in, or drinking sacred springs, massage, mud baths and use of herbs and ointments.  There were lots of small clay or terracotta body parts found around the site, thought to be gifts from healed customers, representing their new found health.

This medical centre was home to Galen (AD 131 – 210), an early physician to Pergamon’s gladiators.  Galen made the medical centre renowned with his extensive additions to the knowledge of the circulatory, nervous systems and systematical medical theory.  His work was the basis for western medicine well into the 16th century.

RED BASILICA
Pergamon’s other notable structure, the Red Basilica, was once a Serpis Temple, to the Egyptian gods.  It consists of a main building, with two towers.  There is a hole in the centre podium, where it is thought someone would hide, giving the impression that the cult statue was talking.  Christians later built a church inside the large structure and this was one of the Seven Churches addressed in the Book of Revelation in the Bible.
  
Other interesting places to visit when you are visiting the region include Sardis Ancient City, Ephesus and the Temple of Artemis.