Town, Izmir vilayet (province), western Turkey, 50 miles (80 km) north of the city of Izmir (Smyrna). It shares the site of ancient Pergamum (q.v.), of which there are extensive ruins remaining. The modern town lies over the remains of the Roman city, while the remains of the ancient Greek city with its acropolis lie northeast across the Bergama River, on a high hill with terraced slopes. Greek ruins also lie on the western outskirts. The Archaeological Museum in town contains a large collection of artifacts from the area, ranging in age from Paleolithic to Byzantine. The town has cotton and leather industries, and in the surrounding area there is farming in cotton, tobacco, and grapevines.
Usually seen on a two day tour of the Seven Churches of Asia Minor or on an Aegean sea cruise, Pergamon (pop. 40,000) is the site of the ancient cultural city of the same name. Pergamon merits a visit because of its impressive ruins. The ruins include an acropolis with an Altar of Zeus, palaces, gymnasiums, temples, the world’s steepest amphitheater, an Aesculapium (ancient medical center) and a now empty library (it once held 200,000 volumes). Note the familiar symbol of medicine on the base of the Serpent Altar; Pergamon was the home of early medical theoretician Galen, whose teachings held sway for 1,500 years. Unfortunately, the most spectacular treasures from Pergamon can’t be seen there they’re at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, Germany. Allow a few hours to tour the ruins. 50 mi/80 km north of Izmir.
Bergama Zeus Altar
Built during the years 197-159 B.C. by Eumenes II, King of Pergammon, it was revealed by German archaelogists during excavations made after 1865 in Pergammon and the remains were sent to Berlin. It was restored in the Berlin State Museum and was opened to exhibition in 1871. After that date, the museum acquired the name Pergammon Museum.
Bust of Alexander the Great
This marble bust 42 cm in height was found during the excavations at Pergammon and dates back to 3rd century B.C. of the original busts of Alexander the Great made during his lifetime, none have reached us todaay, we have only found reproductions. The bust found in Pergammon is famous, it being more realistic than the one in Louvre Paris. (Istanbul Archaeological Museum)