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The Ruins of Pergamon in Turkey

Turkey has more than its fair share of Greek ruins, many of which get overlooked in favor of the famous Ephesus. Pergamon is one such site. It’s about 16 miles from the Aegean perched high on a hill with a nice view of the modern Turkish city of Bergama.


At one point this was the capital of the Attalid kingdom, a political entity that first formed after the fall of the empire of Lysimachus, one of Alexander the Great’s generals. After the contraction of the latter empire in 282 BCE, one of his officers started in Pergamon and built a smaller kingdom. By 133 BCE it was in Roman hands.


The acropolis here was inspired by the Acropolis of Athens. Famous residents include Galen, a very important Greek figure in the history of medicine.






The Pergamon theater is built down the slope of the hill and offers what must have been a view that risked distraction during performances.


The halls under the seats of the theater.

Many of the artifacts and a reconstruction of the Altar of Pergamon, dedicated to Zeus and commissioned by Eumenes II around 180 BCE, can be seen in the Pergamon Museum of Berlin. At Pergamon, sadly, only the steps remain. This is a nice computerized model of what the city must have looked like in antiquity.

Kevin Revolinski

Author, travel writer/photographer, world traveler. Writes about travel, hiking, camping, paddling, and craft beer.

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